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Please accept our thanks for these; and be assured that we will no more be puffed up by the loving congratulations of our friends than we were cast down by the slanders of our enemies. To the Lord be praise, now and ever more. Give thanks with us for our mutual deliverance. – THE EDITORS. [R1652 : page 146]
Science contains an interesting account of the Tellel-Amorna tablets from the pen of the Rev. Thomas Harrison, of Staplehurst, Kent. These tablets, 320 in number, were discovered by a fellah woman in 1887 among the ruins of the palace of Amenopis IV., known as Khu-en-Aten, between Missieh and Assiout, about 180 miles south of Cairo. They have been found to contain a political correspondence of the very greatest interest, dating from some 3,370 years back. Many are from Palestine, written by princes of the Amorites, Phenicians, Philistines, etc., the burden of almost all being: "Send, I pray thee, chariots and men to keep the city of the King, my Lord." Among the enemies against whom help is thus invoked are the Abiri, easily recognized as the Hebrews. The date fixes that of the Bible (1 Kings 4:1) as accurate. Many names occur which are familiar in Scripture, as for example, Japhia, one of the Kings killed by Joshua (Josh. 10:3); Adonizedec, King of Jerusalem (ditto); and Jabin, King of Hazor. (Josh. 11.) Very pathetic are the letters of Ribadda, the brave and warlike King of Gebel, whose entreaties for aid are observed to grow less obsequious and more businesslike as his enemies prevailed against him, robbing him eventually of his wife and children, whom he was powerless to protect. But the greatness of Egypt was waning under the nineteenth dynasty; enemies were pressing her at home, and the chariots and the horsemen went not forth.
|VOL. XV.||JUNE 1, 1894.||NO. 11.|
"But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions; partly, whilst ye were made a gazingstock, both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly whilst ye became companions of them that were so used. For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance. Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward; for ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith; but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them who draw back unto destruction, but of them that believe to the saving of the soul." – Heb. 10:32-39.
Only to those who have some knowledge of God's great plan is this, his dealing with his people, understandable and readable. The world marvels that those whom God receives into his family, as sons by redemption and adoption, should be required or even permitted to suffer afflictions. But to the well-instructed saint the Apostle says, "Think it not strange concerning the fiery trial that shall try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you." And this one may now clearly discern the object and utility of present trials, afflictions and persecutions. He sees that these are in fullest accord with his high calling, his heavenly calling, – to be an heir of God and a joint-heir with Jesus Christ our Lord, "if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together." – Rom. 8:17. [R1653 : page 147]
(1) Because severe trials and testings of our love for God and his truth, and of our faith in him and his promises, are only a wise provision on God's part, in view of the very high honor and responsibility of the great office to which he has called us. If it was proper that our Lord and Redeemer should be tested in all points as to faith and obedience prior to his exaltation to the excellent glory and power of his divine, immortal nature, much more so it is fitting that we, who were once aliens and strangers, far from God, and children of wrath even as others, should be thoroughly tested; [R1653 : page 148] not tested as to the perfection of our earthen vessels, for God and we well know that in our fallen flesh dwelleth no perfection, but tested as to our new minds, our consecrated wills, whether or not these are fully consecrated to the Lord, firmly established in the love of truth, purity and righteousness in general. And also to see whether we would compromise any of the principles of righteousness for worldly favor, selfish ambition, or for any of "the pleasures of sin for a season." Those who love righteousness and hate iniquity, who develop positive characters, these are the "overcomers" who shall, as members of Christ, inherit all things. The undecided, the luke-warm – neither cold nor hot – are far from having the spirit of the Kingdom class, and will surely be rejected – "spewed out." – Rev. 3:16.
(2) A share in the coming glory is dependent upon present sufferings, for the reason that the coming glories are to be bestowed only upon those who have the spirit of Christ, the spirit (disposition) of holiness. And whoever has received this holy spirit or disposition and been transformed by the renewing of his mind or will, so that no longer selfishness but love shall rule over his thoughts and words and deeds, that person, if in the world at all, could not avoid present suffering. His love for God, his zeal for God's service and people, his faith in God's Word and his uncompromising attitude respecting everything relating to these would be so greatly in contrast with the prevalent spirit of doubt, selfishness and compromise that he would be thought peculiar, called an extremist and fanatic, if not a hypocrite. Evil surmisings, out of hearts not fully consecrated, will attribute every good deed to some selfish or evil motive, and therefore, "Ye shall be hated of all men for my [Christ's] name's sake;" for "the world knoweth [understandeth] us not, because it knew him not." (Luke 21:17; 1 John 3:1.) The reason for all this is evident: it is because "the god of this world hath blinded the eyes" of the vast majority of men; because the faithful, who appreciate the truth, who have new hearts (wills) and the right spirit on these subjects, are but a "little flock."
And these conditions will not be changed until the testing of the "little flock" is finished. God will permit evil to be in the ascendancy until that testing, sifting, refining and polishing of the Bride of Christ is fully accomplished. Then Satan shall be bound for a thousand years, and not be permitted to further blind and deceive the nations during that Millennial age of blessing; but, on the contrary, the little flock of overcomers, with Christ, their Lord and Head, will bless all the families of the earth with a full knowledge of the truth.
Therefore, dear brethren and sisters, let us give heed to the Apostle's words, and not cast away our confidence. Confidence in God, and in the outworking of his great plan, and confidence in all who trust in the precious blood and are bringing forth the fruits of the spirit in their daily lives – meekness, patience, brotherly-kindness, love.
The Apostle here clearly shows that there are two ways of enduring the afflictions of Christ: (1) to be made a gazingstock both by afflictions and reproaches, and (2) by avowing our sympathy for the reproached ones and thus sharing their reproaches and afflictions. For if one member suffer, all the members of the body of Christ suffer with it.
"Call to remembrance the former days," and note that your afflictions and trials came principally after you had been illuminated with the light of the knowledge of God, shining in the face of Jesus Christ our Lord; and that they have increased as the light of present truth has increased with you. It is not difficult to discern the reason for this. The great Adversary is not interested in disturbing those who are "asleep in Zion;" but he is ever on the alert to mislead and entangle those that are awake. And the more active we become in the service of the Lord and the truth, and consequently the more actively opposed to Satan and error, the more he will fight against us. And the more faithfully and vigorously we fight the good fight of faith, as good soldiers of the Lord Jesus Christ, the more we will have of the Master's approval now, and the greater will be our reward in the Kingdom. [R1653 : page 149]
No doubt there are many and more severe trials just before us. From God's standpoint, having been blest with great light, we should be able to endure greater trials and afflictions. From Satan's standpoint, we, as a Gideon's band, armed with the truth, are more injurious to his cause than all others combined. The only wonder to us is that he has not assailed us still more fiercely in the past. Perhaps he was hindered; perhaps he will be granted yet more liberty to buffet us, as the night draws on. Such is our expectation, based upon the direct statements and the types of Scripture.
But such reflections should bring us no sadness, no fear; for he that is on our part is more than all that be against us. (1 John 4:4; Rom. 8:31.) The Lord of hosts is with us. His promises, as well as his providences, are walls of salvation and protection on every hand. What shall separate us from the love of God in Christ? Shall tribulation? No! it shall but cause us to draw closer to him; and under his protecting care we shall rest. His grace is sufficient for us. His strength is made manifest in our weakness. When we feel weak in ourselves, then we are strong in him. He will never leave us nor forsake us.
"Watchman, what of the night?"
"The morning cometh, and a night also."
"Be not deceived: God is not mocked; for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." – Gal. 6:7.
And it is in view of the harvest of the world's sowing, that we are informed that "the eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good;" that "God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil"; and that "there is nothing covered that shall not be revealed, neither hid that shall not be known;" that "whatsoever has been spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light"; and that "spoken in the ear, in closets, shall be proclaimed openly." And again we read, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay, saith the Lord." – Prov. 15:3; Eccl. 12:14; Luke 12:2,3; Rom. 12:19.
But when will this reckoning time come? for now, as saith the Prophet Malachi (3:15), men "call the proud happy; yea, they that work wickedness are set up; yea, they that tempt God are even delivered." With the Psalmist (94:3,4) we inquire, "Lord, how long shall the wicked triumph, and all the workers of iniquity boast themselves?" and the Apostle Paul answers that the Lord "hath appointed a day in which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained," – the Christ. (Acts 17:31.) And "then," says the Prophet Malachi to those that fear the Lord and whom he hath chosen as his jewels, "shall ye return and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not." – Mal. 3:18.
But take heed: the same prophet raises a suggestive question, which all would do well to ponder; saying, "Who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner's fire and like fuller's soap."..."And I will come near to you to judgment, and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not me, saith the Lord of hosts." – Mal. 3:2,5.
The reference of these Scriptures is to the great judgment of the day of the Lord – the [R1653 : page 150] day of trouble with which this Gospel Dispensation is to close, – variously described as the day "of wrath," "of vengeance," "of recompenses," and as a "time of trouble such as was not since there was a nation."
But while this great judgment will have to do with the world in general – with nations and corporations and all civil, social and religious organizations of men; and while it will touch the cases of all the individuals living at that time, we naturally inquire where retributive justice came or is to come in, in dealing with all the generations of the past?
Our Lord answers the question when he says, "The hour is coming in which all that are in the graves shall hear the voice of the Son of [R1654 : page 150] man and shall come forth; they that have done good, into the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection by judgment." (John 5:28,29.) The whole Millennial age is thus set forth as a "day" of reckoning, of trial, of judgment. And in that searching judgment there will be a reckoning, even for every pernicious word (Matt. 12:36); and by submission and learning obedience under those judgments, the masses of mankind who will to obey are to be gradually raised up to perfection of being, as well as of knowledge.
But here a philosophic and important question arises as to the extent to which the justification of a sinner, through faith in the precious blood of Christ, may intercept the course of the above law, that a man must reap what he has sown. In other words, Will his justification save him from the miserable harvest of a former sowing of wild oats?
We answer, yes, in one sense it will. The just penalty for all sin is death – the severest penalty that can be inflicted. And from this penalty his justification freely exonerates him; and the terms of the new covenant (Jer. 31:31-34; Heb. 8:10-12) assure us that the forgiveness will be so full and free that his past iniquities and sins will be remembered no more. That is, they will no more rise up in judgment against him, demanding their just penalty – death; for blessed are those whose iniquity is forgiven and whose sin is covered; blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute [reckon] sin. (Rom. 4:7.) All who, by faith in Christ's sacrifice for sin, and by consecration of heart and life to God's service, come under the covering provisions of the New Covenant are thus blessed. The iniquity (or legal sentence) of such is passed or forgiven entirely: and while their sins and their results (the harvest of their misdeeds sown before they came to a realization of the exceeding sinfulness of sin, or to an appreciation of God's mercy in Christ) are still painfully with them, they are assured that these are covered; that God does not regard them as they really are, but imputes their sins to Christ who already has paid their penalty, and imputes of his worthiness to their account. They are further assured that God's provision under the New Covenant is, that they may be healed or cured of the weaknesses brought on them through sin and now reckoned as "covered" from the divine eye. – Rom. 4:7,8; Acts 3:19.
These sins or actual defects are to be blotted out or wiped out when the times of restitution shall arrive, at the second advent of Christ. The result of this blotting or wiping out of sin will be new bodies, new beings, – free from sin, from imperfection and every consequence and evidence of sin. With the Church this cleansing and blotting out process begins with the present life, and will be completed early in the Millennial dawning (Psa. 46:5) by a share in the first resurrection. The world's cleansing time will be the entire Millennial age, or "day of judgment," when those who then shall learn of and accept Christ and the New Covenant may gradually be cleansed and healed; and, at the close of that age, if faithful to their opportunities, they may be presented blameless and perfect before God, needing no further healing or cleansing, but being again, as was Adam, the human image of the divine Creator, – perfect men.
The Scriptures, as well as observation, assure us that our justification before God does not remove at once and without our co-operation all the results of previous transgressions. The harvest comes like the sowing, but the [R1654 : page 151] penitent and forgiven one has promise of grace to help him in the battle with his inherited as well as his cultivated weakness; and so we read (1 John 1:9): God "is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." It is in this cleansing process, which follows the legal justification, that the justified believer must, of necessity, experience some of the baneful results of a past course of sin, – reap the reward of his former sowing. While the Lord will be very merciful in dealing with him, nevertheless, as a wise physician, he will not spare the necessary discipline to eradicate the deep-seated evil propensities of long cultivation in the past.
Here the retributive character of divine law is specially noteworthy. Men often make a distinction between the law of nature and the moral laws, calling the one natural and the other divine. But the fixed principles of both are divine in their origin, and accomplish the divine will in their operation. Both operate on the basis of retributive justice. All divine law, whether of nature or of morals, is but the operation of certain fixed principles of righteousness, having for their object the peace and happiness of all intelligent creatures under its jurisdiction. Obedience to this law brings its reward of happiness, while any interference with it incurs its certain penalty.
If you put your hand into the fire, it will be burned, and you will suffer pain; if you hold your hand before the fire it will be warmed and your comfort and happiness will be thus ministered to. Thus the law of nature – which was designed to comfort and bless us, is also prepared to punish us if we violate its proper use. And not only so, but it is also prepared to grade its penalties in proportion to the aggravation of the offense against it. If you put your hand into the fire for a very short time it will scorch it; persist a little longer, and it will blister it; and a little longer still, and it will consume it. Apply it properly in the cooking of your food, and it will reward you with a savory meal; but applied improperly the food may be rendered undesirable or unfit for use. Water, also one of our greatest blessings, becomes, if the law of nature be disregarded, an agent of death and destruction. And so throughout the laws of nature we might trace retribution.
In the realm of moral law the case is the same. If you violate the principles of righteousness you deface the image of God in your being. Impure thoughts write in clearly legible signs upon the countenance the dark lines of a bad character; while pure, just and noble thoughts illuminate the countenance and render the pure character transparent to beholders. And the operations of moral law are as sure and reliable as are those of natural law.
The fact that the retribution – the reward or the penalty – is often delayed is frequently presumed upon by the foolish, who vainly think that they can sow their crop of wild oats and never realize their harvest. Both individuals and nations have long presumed to act upon this hazardous and vain hypothesis; and well indeed would it be if they would even now hearken to the Apostle's warning: – "Be not deceived: God is not mocked; for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap."
The operations of this law are most manifest upon classes and nations – first, because their prominence gives them world-wide publicity; and, second, because their harvest must of necessity be in the present life, since beyond the present life they will have no existence. A glance at the pages of history reveals the fact that all the nations of the past have reaped a bitter harvest, and amid harrowing scenes have breathed their last. They had their rising, struggling periods and then their flourishing eras; and then pride and fulness of bread caused them to rest in fancied security, and to sink in the scale of morals, until their decline was followed by their fall: – they reaped what they had sown.
Just now all the nations of the world are fast approaching the terrible crises of their national existences. In a great time of unparalleled trouble, which is even now imminent, they are about to reap what they have sown. They have sown to the wind the seeds of selfishness, and now they are about to reap the whirlwind of anarchy and terror and the destruction of all law and order and national and social organization. [R1654 : page 152]
The operations of this law in individual cases, though not so prominent, are none the less sure. Every thought harbored, and every disposition exercised and cultivated, is woven into the fabric of individual character; and this character, which is more or less plastic in early life, becomes fixed and fossilized in the course of years. If the cultivation has been along the lines of righteousness and truth, according to the light possessed – whether of conscience merely, or of revelation also – the ripened fruit of an established, right-preferring and benevolent character is a blessed harvest in comparison with others, the reverse. If the cultivation has been along the lines of depravity, self-gratification and degradation, the terrible fruits are a fearful penalty.
Even though such a one be freely forgiven upon repentance and faith in the Redeemer – fully absolved from legal condemnation through Christ, who bore its divinely pronounced penalty, death, nevertheless, the fruits of his sowing are manifest in his character, and must all be rooted out and a proper character formed at a considerable cost of painful but valuable experience; for God is just, not only to forgive us our sins, but also to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. The eradicating of these evil dispositions, propensities and appetites, deep-rooted and long-cultivated, will cause great disturbances of the soil in which they have grown; and pain as well as joy will attend their removal, and their replacement with the graces of the spirit. The Lord, as a wise physician, will be as merciful and tender with his patient as the necessities of the cure will permit. All will be shown their need of his aid, but no patient will be treated further except with his own consent and co-operation. With the Church this treatment takes place in the present life and is a treatment of the will rather than of the body; for although the body will be greatly helped by the treatment, it is not the Great Physician's purpose to cure these marred "earthen vessels," but to give to this class perfect spiritual bodies early in the Millennial dawn. In these the consecrated will is being transformed and renewed to perfect harmony with the will of God, the mind of Christ. The "overcomers," the true Church, passing through discipline and cleansing and trials of faith and afflictions now, and being approved of the Lord, will not come into the judgment (trial) of the Millennial age (1 Cor. 11:32), but, with [R1655 : page 152] the Redeemer their Lord, will be kings and priests of God who shall judge the world and recompense to them good or evil, impartially, under the terms of the New Covenant. – 1 Cor. 6:2.
Another feature of retribution upon the world during its Millennial trial will be the publicity which will then be given to the reaping and to the deeds of the past. Our Lord has so intimated, saying, "There is nothing covered that shall not be revealed; neither hid that shall not be known," etc. (Matt. 10:26; Luke 12:2,3.) This also will come about in a natural way, when in that day all that are in their graves shall come forth – when the murderer and his victim, the debtor and his creditor, the thief and his dupe, the defamer and the defamed, must face each other and the facts which, with even the secret motives, will be discerned. The terms of their reconciliation to each other and to the judge will be equitable, and will be known to all.
Past history will have proclaimed to the world the character of many a Nero; but in addition to that, there will be the necessity of facing the former victims of their ignoble cruelty; and that in the light of a new and healthy public sentiment that will manifest crime in all its horrid deformity. Truly such "shall awake to shame and lasting [Heb., olan] contempt," even in their own eyes; for as their renewed manhood begins to assert itself, they will the more fully realize the depth of the pit of degradation whence they were digged; and even the generous forgiveness of formerly injured and outraged fellow-men will be a great humiliation. It will truly be, as the Scriptures suggest, the heaping of coals of fire on their heads (Prov. 25:21,22; Rom. 12:20), so great will be their shame and confusion. – Jer. 20:11.
It should be borne in mind, too, that the only standard of judgment in public sentiment, then, will be character. None of the false standards – e.g., of wealth, of noble (?) birth, [R1655 : page 153] or of an aristocracy of power, by which men are often measured now, and under which cloaks the wicked often take shelter – will then avail anything; for, under the new dispensation, men will come forth shorn of all their former possessions. They will have neither wealth nor power; and, in the light of that age, heredity will be nothing whereof to boast.
The same conditions which will thus expose the evils of the past life and thus, in the natural operations of moral law, bring about a measure of retribution to the evil-doers, will also make manifest the good deeds of the righteous, so that even the slightest favors done for others (which at the time blessed the characters of the doers) will then be recognized and appreciated.
In this view of the matter we can see how, in a perfectly natural way, a man must reap the harvest of his sowing of wild oats, even though he has been freely forgiven, absolved from guilt and its penalty, death, and legally justified through faith in Christ. He will reap it, both in the difficulties he will have piled up for himself in the hardening of his own character, making the steps up to perfection more painful and slow, and requiring severer discipline and also in the just disapproval or indignation of a righteous public sentiment in that Millennial day of judgment. Such will be the natural and inevitable results of present wrong doing, though one consolation will be the fact that this humiliation, in some measure at least, will be shared by all; "for there is none righteous [none perfect], no, not one" (Rom. 3:10); and all must pray, "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive others." It will indeed be a time for melting and mellowing all hearts. Thus the Lord will take away the stony heart and give to all who under the New Covenant shall become his people (typified by Israel) a heart of flesh, according to his promise. – Ezek. 36:22-25-28.
In some instances a portion of the reaping is experienced in the present life; and in some it will be in the life to come, as the Apostle intimates in 1 Tim. 5:24,25. And so also the good works are sometimes manifest now, and rightly appreciated and rewarded. But whether now or hereafter, our Lord's assurance is that even the gift of a cup of cold water to one of his disciples, because he is his disciple, shall have its reward (Matt. 10:40-42); so minute will be the Lord's cognizance of character and works, and his rewards therefore; and none the less his because accomplished in the natural operation of retributive laws.
A murderer may be one who has little or no knowledge of God, whose hereditary disadvantages may be great and whose environment may be very unfavorable: he may meet with a just recompense for his crime at the hands of his fellow men, and yet in due time come forth from his grave unto [the privileges and opportunities of] a resurrection [lifting up – all the way up] by judgment [trial, discipline], and if obedient reach the height of perfection and life everlasting, although the sins of his past life may have made mountains of difficulties in his character for him to clamber over during that judgment age. For some such wicked murderers the Lord who will be the judge himself prayed forgiveness upon the ground of at least a large measure of ignorance. – Luke 23:34.
On the other hand, a man may be a moral man, who has "tasted the good Word of God, and the powers of the age to come" and who has been made a partaker of the spirit of holiness through faith in Christ; yet he may permit envy and strife to take possession of his heart, and he may hate his brother though he outwardly violates no law and is esteemed among men. Yet such a one is a murderer at heart (1 John 3:15), restrained from outward violence by the respect for the opinions of others or by fear of the consequences. Who will deny that such a one, because of light enjoyed, may not have even greater difficulties to overcome in the reformation of his character than the grosser but ignorant murderer. To whom much is given in the way of knowledge, opportunity, etc., of him will much be required. (Luke 12:48.) That judgment will be according to knowledge and ability to do right – a just recompense of reward.
Only the idiotic and insane are in total darkness. All have had at least a conscience, and few have been without some hope of reward in following its dictates, though, as Paul says, [R1655 : page 154] they had no hope and were without God in the world – they were without the only real hope of the gospel. (Eph. 2:12.) Previous to the announcement of the gospel hope of everlasting life, and its foreshadowing in Israel, the hope of the world in general was only for the present rewards of righteousness. And no other hope was clearly held out, even to Israel, although there were hints and foreshadowings to them of the gospel hope, as there was also in the promise given in Eden – that the seed of the woman should bruise the serpent's head. These hints of hope were doubtless treasured up and reasoned upon by the more thoughtful minds; but the masses of men discerned only the simple lesson that honesty, righteousness, was the best present policy.
But when Christ came he "brought life [everlasting] and immortality [clearly] to light through the gospel" (2 Tim. 1:10); and, proportionately as men have come directly or indirectly in contact with this gospel, their responsibility has been increased, whether they accepted or rejected, opposed or ignored it. As it is written, "This is the condemnation, that light is come into the world and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil." – John 3:19.
The divine arrangement regarding retribution seems generally to be that of sequence, so that under it rewards and punishments follow naturally, as the results of obedience or disobedience to law. Yet in the cases, both of rewards and of penalties, God sometimes steps beyond this order, as, for instance, when he brings upon Satan and his followers swift destruction at the end of the Millennial age, and when he exalts his Church with Christ their head, to the divine nature and Kingdom and glory. His extraordinary methods have also been occasionally manifested in the past – viz., in the destruction of the world by the flood, in the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah, in the confusion of tongues at Babel, and other instances of minor note. But these are special and exceptional exhibitions both of his wrath and of his grace. A just estimate of the Lord's dealings in the future judgment of the repentant of the world may be approximated by a careful observance of his dealings with his justified and consecrated children now. Though justified, we are not liberated from all the consequences of our past ignorance or waywardness. If in youthful ignorance and waywardness bad habits were contracted which have impaired health and weakened moral and physical powers, we have all the difficulties to struggle against now, though we realize the divine forgiveness and assistance. This is our judgment day; and the judgment of the world will proceed upon the same general principles. They will first be brought to a knowledge of the truth, and will then be judged according to their use or abuse of that knowledge after they receive it, as worthy or unworthy of life, the good and bad actions of their first life previous to their knowledge of the truth entering into it only in the natural order of the retributive character of moral law, as above described.
There were only two or three of us
Who came to the place of prayer –
Came in the teeth of a driving storm;
But for that we did not care,
Since after our hymns of praise had risen,
And our earnest prayers were said,
The Master Himself was present there
And gave us the living bread.
We noted his look in each other's face,
So loving, and glad, and free:
We felt his touch when our heads were bowed,
We heard his "Come to Me!"
Nobody saw him lift the latch,
And none unbarred the door;
But "Peace" was his token in every heart,
And how could we ask for more?
Each of us felt the relief from sin,
Christ's purchase for one and all;
Each of us dropped his load of care,
And heard the heavenly call;
And over our spirits a blessed calm
Swept in from the Jasper sea,
And strength was ours for the toil of life
In the days that were yet to be.
It was only a handful gathered in
To that little place of prayer.
Outside were struggle and strife and sin,
But the Lord himself was there.
He came to redeem the pledge he gave –
Wherever his loved ones be,
To give his comfort and joy to them,
Though they count but two or three.– Sel.
"Let not him that girdeth on his harness boast himself as he that putteth it off." – 1 Kings 20:11.
The first gush of enthusiasm in the Lord's service, much as we may and do appreciate it, may be but the hasty production of the shallow soil of a heart which immediately receives the truth with gladness, but having no root in itself, endures but for a time; and afterward, when affliction and persecution ariseth, immediately they are offended. (Mark 4:16,17.) Such characters cannot stand the fiery tests of this evil day, whereof it is written – "The fire [of that day] shall try every man's work, of what sort it is." – 1 Cor. 3:13.
Therefore, says the Apostle Peter, "Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you as though some strange thing happened unto you." All of the elect Church must be so tried; and blessed is he that shall endure unto the end. The sure word of prophecy points to severe conflicts and great trials in the closing scenes of the Church's history. Elijah, a type of the body of Christ, finished his earthly career and went up by a whirlwind in a chariot of fire – strong symbols of storms and great afflictions. John, another type of the Church, was cast into prison and then beheaded. And we are forewarned of the great necessity of the whole armor of God, if we would stand in this evil day. – M. DAWN, VOL. II., Chap. 8.
It therefore behooves every one who aspires to the prize of our high calling to brace himself for the severer conflicts and trials of faith and patience that may suddenly and without a moments warning be sprung upon him. In the battle of this day, as in all other battles, the effort of the enemy is to surprise and suddenly attack and overwhelm the Lord's people; and the only preparation, therefore, that can be made for such emergencies is constant vigilance and prayer and the putting on of the whole armor of God – the truth and the spirit of the truth.
"In your patience possess ye your souls." No other grace will be more needed than this in the fiery ordeals of this evil day; for without great patience no man can endure to the end. All along the Christian's pathway, ever and anon, he comes to a new crisis: perhaps they are often seemingly of trivial importance, yet he realizes that they may be turning points in his Christian course. Who has not realized them? There comes a temptation to weariness in well-doing, together with the suggestion of an easier way; or there springs up a little root of pride or ambition, with suggestions of ways and means for feeding and gratifying it. Then there comes, by and by, the decisive moment when you must choose this course or that; and lo, you have reached a crisis!
Which way will you turn? Most likely you will turn in the direction to which the sentiments you have cultivated have been tending, whether that be the right way or the wrong way. If it be the wrong way, most likely you will be unable to discern it clearly; for your long cultivated sentiments will sway your judgment. "There is a way that seemeth right unto a man; but the end thereof is the way of death." (Prov. 14:12.) How necessary, therefore, is prayer, that in every crisis we may pass the test successfully. Nor can we safely delay to watch and pray until the crisis is upon us; but such should be our constant attitude.
The life of a soldier ever on the alert and on duty is by no means an easy life; nor do the Scriptures warrant any such expectation. On the contrary, they say, "Endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ;" "Fight [R1656 : page 156] the good fight of faith," etc. And yet many Christian people seem to have the very opposite idea. Their ideal Christian life is one without a breeze or a storm: it must be one continuous calm. Such a life was indeed more possible in former days than now, though the world, the flesh and the devil always have opposed themselves, and always had to be resisted by every loyal soldier of the cross. But now the opposition is daily becoming more and more intense; for Satan realizes that his time is short, and he is determined by any and every means to exert his power against the consummation of the Lord's plan for the exaltation of the Church.
Consequently we have had within this harvest period many and severe storms of opposition, and still there are doubtless more severe trials to follow. But those who, with overcoming faith, outride them all – who patiently endure, who cultivate the spirit of Christ with its fruits and graces, and who valiantly fight the good fight of faith, rather than withdraw from the field, such will be the overcomers to whom the laurels of victory will be given when the crowning day has come.
THE Scriptures instruct God's people to sell or dispose of what they have and to buy something else, – even though at a great cost. The inference is that what we possess naturally is not of lasting value, while that which we may obtain instead is of priceless value and everlasting.
"Buy the truth and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding." – Prov. 23:23.
Sell that which thou hast, and give alms – dispose of your natural abilities and talents, wisely of course, for the benefit of yourself, your family, and all who have need of such service as you can render – and thou shalt have treasure in heaven. Thus should we take up our cross and follow Christ our Redeemer and Pattern. – Luke 12:23; Matt. 19:21.
The "foolish virgins" were instructed to go and buy "oil," – the light, the spirit of the truth. But they were "foolish" in that they did not buy in the proper time to get the greatest blessing in return. Because of tardiness they failed to enter into the Marriage Feast, thus losing a great privilege and blessing.
The value of a share in the Kingdom of God is likened to a choice pearl, to purchase which the dealer who rightly estimates its value will sell or trade all of his other wares; – realizing that possessing it alone he would be wealthy indeed. – Matt. 13:45.
Again, the value of the Kingdom is likened to a mine of wealth discovered in a field. The real value of the mine is generally unappreciated, but the appreciative discoverer would hasten to purchase the field; and to do so would give all else that he possesses. – Matt. 13:44.
The Lord in symbol points out to the Church, in its present Laodicean period, its really naked and poor and miserable condition; that its own righteousness, in which it trusts, is filthy rags which cannot cover its shame; and that its boasted riches of knowledge is of a spurious sort. He says: "I counsel thee to buy of me gold [heavenly wisdom], tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment [the covering of Christ's righteousness – purity] that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear."
All who have learned that during the present Gospel age God is selecting the little flock, foreknown in his plan, and that all whom he predestinated must possess the characteristics of his firstborn, – must be copies of his only begotten Son, our Lord – have some conception of the great treasure of priceless value which their knowledge puts within their reach. Those who realize the value of the treasure most accurately are gladly selling off all that they have – time, influence, reputation, voice, strength, houses, lands, carriages, ease, comforts, luxuries, – and are investing the proceeds of all in the purchase of this field, which they know contains the treasure mine. Their [R1656 : page 157] conduct sometimes seems strange to those who do not know of the mine, or who, knowing something of it, have no real conception of its priceless value.
To one of these a king once said, "Paul, thou art beside thyself; much learning doth make thee mad." But Paul answered, "I am not mad, most noble Festus, but speak forth the words of truth and soberness." And again he declared, "What things were gain [valuable] to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea, I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of [the treasure hid in] Christ Jesus my Lord (Col. 1:26; 2:3), on account of whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them as dung, that I may win Christ, and be found in him [a member of his body, one of his joint-heirs in the promised Kingdom]: that I may know him and the power of his resurrection [a resurrection to immortal and spiritual condition] and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; if by any means I might attain unto the [chief] resurrection." (Phil. 3:7-11.) "For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us." (Rom. 8:18.) "For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we look not at [and labor not for] the things that are seen, but the things which are not seen [the hidden treasure]: for the things which are seen [and which we are selling off] are temporal, but the things which are not seen [the treasures of God's gracious plan hid in Christ, which we are giving our little all to possess] are eternal." – 2 Cor. 4:17,18. [R1657 : page 157]
Beloved, it is appropriate that each of us search his own doings, and his own heart's motives, and see whether we are fully awake to the value of the great wealth of God's love and favor and honor hidden in Christ, of which we are invited to become joint-heirs. God has given to us, and to all, a great gift in Christ, in that eternal life is secured for all of Adam's race who will accept it under the terms of the New Covenant, when fully enlightened; but in addition to that gift is the present offer to sell to us a share in the glorious Millennial Kingdom at a price "not worthy to be compared" to the glories and blessings which, as heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ, we may receive in exchange.
The price is small, but it is all that we each have to give – ourselves, our all. Whether our all be more or less than another's all, it is nevertheless our all, and God graciously proposes to accept the little all of each, whatever it may be, the sufficiency of Christ's all compensating for the deficiency of our alls. The chance to buy is now, and very "foolish" are those virgins (pure ones) who neglect or refuse to give the price.
To buy we must consecrate and give – time, energy, study, to gain even a knowledge of the mystery (the secret mine of wealth) hid in Christ. (1 Cor. 2:7.) Each day will bring to the consecrated opportunities for giving something to the Lord, either directly, or indirectly to his people or others in his name. Each day will bring opportunities for giving up something precious to the selfish, carnal nature.
All such gifts presented to God (by those who have already been reconciled to God, through faith in his precious blood) are acceptable in the Beloved, and are treasures laid up in heaven, of two sorts: (1) the service rendered to God which, although in itself imperfect, he accepts as perfect through Christ; (2) the character thereby developed in our own hearts is a heavenly treasure acceptable to God by Jesus Christ; for every time we give anything to the Lord's service or give up things highly esteemed among men for the sake of the Lord, or his Word, or his people, or even for humanity's sake, we to that extent overcome the fallen disposition or spirit of selfishness, and cultivate the spirit of love and benevolence, the spirit of God, the spirit of Christ, the holy spirit or disposition, without which none will be acceptable as joint-heirs with Christ in his Kingdom; – for "if any man have not the spirit [disposition] of Christ he is none of his." – Rom. 8:9.
Let us see to it that, having made the contract, we pay over the price in full. – Acts 5:1-11.
"And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore, thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ." – Gal. 4:6,7. –
The Apostle (Chap. 1.) expresses his surprise that these Galatian Christians should so soon become entangled in this error, when the gospel of the Kingdom had been so clearly set before them. Then (Chap. 1:10-24; 2:1-10) he reproduces the evidence of his apostleship, and in a masterly way sets forth the strong foundation of the hope of the gospel, the entire freedom of both Jews and Gentiles from the bondage of the Law Covenant, and the glorious liberty and peculiar privileges of the sons of God.
These Gentile Christians had never been under the Jewish law. They were "aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise." But, through the preaching of the Apostle, they were brought nigh to God "by the blood of Christ" (Eph. 2:12,13); i.e., through faith in his blood they had been freely justified. "This only would I learn of you," said he, "Received ye the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?" – Gal. 3:2,3.
Then he proceeds to show further that while the Gentiles were not to be brought under bondage to the Jewish law, neither were the Jews [R1658 : page 158] justified by it; for it proved to be unto condemnation to every one that ever was under it, save the one perfect man, Christ Jesus, who fulfilled all its conditions, and, being blameless, rendered himself an acceptable sacrifice to redeem those who were under the Jewish law (3:10,11,13), as well as all of the Gentile world who were under the curse of the Edenic law, which was the same law written originally in the heart of the first perfect man, Adam. Thus "by one offering he hath perfected forever [made complete in his righteousness] them that are sanctified [fully consecrated to God]," whether Jews or Gentiles. – Heb. 10:14.
In the words of our text, he then bids them mark the fact that the witness of the holy Spirit with their spirits is to the effect that they are the recognized sons of God, and that they came into this grace without the works of the law. He says, "Because ye are sons [i.e., because you have believed on Christ alone for salvation and have consecrated yourselves to him and therefore been adopted into God's family], God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son [the seal of your adoption – Eph. 1:13] into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore, thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ." Blessed privilege! why then go back to the beggarly elements whereby the Jews so long and so vainly sought to find salvation? (Gal. 4:9.) In Christ alone is full salvation for both Jew and Gentile; and in him there is no difference, for we are "all one in Christ Jesus."
Thus the way of salvation is set forth as the way of simple, confiding faith. Men in all ages have sought to complicate the way and to hedge it about with forms and ceremonies. They have added penances and prayers and fastings, and monastic rules and regulations and numerous and varied superstitions, but the simplicity of the true way they stumble over. To keep the perfect law of God was a thing impossible for imperfect men; but if it had been possible, verily, says the Apostle (3:21), that would have been the way of salvation. But God had mercy upon our weakness, and, through Christ, offers us salvation upon the terms of simple faith and of loyalty and obedience to his will to the extent of our ability – the terms of the New Covenant.
To thus accept the favor of God through Christ – the evidences of sonship and the present [R1658 : page 159] and prophetic inheritance of sons – is to enter into the blessed rest of faith. This rest of faith is something which the world can neither give nor take away. It brings with it peace and happiness and joy in the midst of all the shifting circumstances of the present life. To those who have entered into this rest of faith penances are seen to be of no avail, and prayers are occasions of sweet communion with God; feasting from the Lord's bountiful table take the place of fastings, active zeal in the Master's service supplants the gloomy and useless life of the solitary and self-tortured recluse; and the glorious sunlight of truth chases away the shadows of human superstitions.
O how blessed is this rest of faith! Would that all who name the name of Christ might fully enter in! True, there are self-denials and sacrifices and disciplines and trials, and often persecutions in the way; but in the midst of them all there is rest and peace. Such, though in the world, are not of it. They are in the world as the Lord's representatives and ambassadors. They are here to tell "the good tidings of great joy" to all people who have ears to hear, and to make known among men the unsearchable riches of Christ. They are the light of the world, and if obedient to the Master's voice they will not hide their light by retiring from the world and shutting themselves up for religious meditation.
Some in times past have gained a reputation for great sanctity by secluding themselves from the world and devoting themselves to a monastic life; but how strangely their lives contrast with the active, zealous devotion of the Lord and the apostles and the early Church, before this superstition was promulgated. Let us mark the footprints of our Lord and those who followed him, and strive to walk in them. As sons and heirs of God let us rejoice in our inheritance with thanksgiving, and let our zeal in service manifest our love and devotion to God.
Whom the Son makes free is free indeed; for he is made free by the Truth. – John 8:32,36.
II. QUAR., LESSON X., JUNE 3, EXOD. 12:1-14.
The term Passover signifies to pass by or spare from an affliction. When the last plague was visited upon Egypt, the houses of the Israelites were all marked with the blood of a slain lamb, that the destroying angel might not cut off the first born of Israel with the first born of Egypt. These first born ones were afterward represented in the priestly tribe of Levi, to which Moses belonged (Exod. 13:2; Num. 3:11-13), and through this priesthood all Israel was brought into covenant relationship with God. The Gospel Church, is the antitype. These alone of all people are now in danger of everlasting death – the second death – because these only have the knowledge sufficient – if rejected or abused – to bring condemnation to the second death.
The first born of Israel represented those who now by faith abide in Christ, under "the blood of sprinkling" – the precious blood of Christ, our passover lamb, slain for us. And these shall be delivered, spared, passed over, being counted worthy of life through the merit of the precious blood of Christ. But if any abide not under this covering, he must surely perish, as any of the first born of Israel would have perished had they ventured out, beyond the protection of the blood of the typical lamb. How forcibly does the type thus illustrate the value of the precious blood of Christ, our Passover Lamb!
The typical feast, commemorative of the typical Passover, was celebrated ever after by Israel. Our Lord and his disciples observed it, as all Jews were required to do, yearly on the fourteenth of Nisan. The Lord's Supper was instituted just after this Passover supper, and to take its place, on the last night of our Lord's earthly life – [R1657 : page 160] the same night in which he was betrayed, the same day on which he was crucified, the Jewish day beginning the evening preceding at sunset. This annual remembrancer was to be to Christ's followers what the Passover had been to the Jews. They were to see Christ Jesus as their lamb, and rejoice in their justification through his precious blood. And they were to celebrate it yearly – as the Israelites had done – but now in remembrance of the reality and not of the type. "Christ, our passover, is sacrificed for us; therefore, let us keep the feast" – as often as the season returns, until fully delivered from death to life in his likeness. [R1657 : page 160]
II. QUAR., LESSON XI., JUNE 10, EXOD. 14:19-29.
This chapter in the history of God's ancient people is an illustration of the power and wisdom and love of God. And it is a warning to all who are disposed to heed it, to beware of undertaking to contend with the Almighty. No matter how weak or insignificant or poor or despised among men may be the subjects of his care, the hand that is lifted against them defies the power of Jehovah, and shall surely come to grief.
This deliverance of typical Israel from Egypt illustrates the deliverance from sin and its bondage of all who desire to be God's servants and to have the promised blessing as it shall be fulfilled after the plagues (Rev. 16), in the utter destruction of all the systems born of sin and selfishness which would hinder human prosperity and advancement toward God. The overthrow of Pharaoh's army by the sea, corresponds to the fact that many of the present enslaving agencies will be overthrown by anarchy in the great "time of trouble," now so near at hand. Already the storm is approaching which will eventually overthrow all evil-doers; but a way of escape is provided for all who seek God and put their trust in him, following the course which his wisdom has marked out.
It is important to note in this connection that the terms "borrowed" and "lent" in Exod. 11:2; 12:35,36 are improper and misleading translations of the Hebrew word shaal, giving the impression of a command to dishonesty on the part of God and a dishonest transaction on the part of the Israelites. The Israelites did not borrow, but asked for (as in R.V.) jewels of silver and jewels of gold and garments. And the Egyptians did not lend, but allowed their request. Thus the Israelites had some reward for their long service, though it was only granted by their oppressors under fear to refuse them. [R1658 : page 160]
II. QUAR., LESSON XII., JUNE 17, PROV. 23:29-35.
The significance of this lesson is too manifest to need special comment, but is worthy of the careful consideration, not only of those who are liable to the temptations of strong drink, but also of all who have any influence over others in this respect. The principles and practices of all God's people should be specially clear and pronounced upon this and every other question of morals and conduct. [R1658 : page 160]
A careful review of the lessons of this quarter in connection with the Scripture readings suggested will be found very profitable. The Old Testament worthies surely command our deepest respect and admiration; and their faith and faithfulness is worthy of our study and imitation. And all the steps of divine providence so clearly marked in Old Testament history are such as to establish and confirm our faith in the goodness and power and love and wisdom of God. Let us not forget that these blessed lessons are recorded, not to satisfy mere idle curiosity, nor to furnish entertainment, but to acquaint us more fully with the works and ways and will of our God.
Mgr. Satollistates, through Father O'Gorman, his interpreter, that there are pending diplomatic negotiations to bring the Greek church of all Russia, now under the personal control of the Czar, into the keeping of the Vatican.
Churchmen take it for granted that if the Czar is to place the state church under control of Rome it is in the interest of Leo's hope to effect the disarmament of the great nations of the world, and for securing the ultimate universal peace and arbitration of international quarrels.
PUBLISHED TWICE A MONTH.
N.B. – Those of the interested, who by reason of old age or accidents, or other adversity, are unable to pay, will be supplied FREE, if they will send a Postal Card each December, stating their case and requesting the paper.
"As travail upon a woman with child" is the inspired description of the forty-year day of trouble, by which the Millennial age is commenced. The panic of 1873, which affected the whole world, was the first spasm, and since then at irregular intervals the labor-pains of earth have been experienced. Just now, we of the United States are in the midst of one of these throes of the groaning creation.
In this land of bountiful crops, many, because of strikes, are almost destitute of food. In this land of liberty thousands of armed and unarmed men in half a dozen states are in a state of war. It is a war of labor against capital, and is the natural result of the competitive system of business, which evidently will hold on until spasm after spasm of increasing severity, resulting in anarchy will ultimately give birth to a new order of society based upon the new-old teaching of Christ.
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL: – My mind has been enlightened by reading MILLENNIAL DAWN. I hope the truth therein revealed will reach every thinking Christian who asks, seeks and knocks for the true meaning of the Bible.
I received a circular from the conspirators, but was unmoved by it; and last Sunday I had the pleasure of hearing your wife faithfully and thoroughly defend her husband and the truth, in the presence of one of the deluded men.
Enclosed find a "straw" that tells which way the wind blows. It is from the pen of Rabbi Hirsch of this city. I heard him preach a series of sermons in his synagogue recently, which were highly in favor of Jesus and Paul, and he read each time a chapter from the New Testament. Once, after giving utterance to a sentiment similar to that of the clipping [below], he said to his Jewish hearers: "Crucify me if you will for saying it." Yours in the Master's service.
"We quote the rabbis of the Talmud; shall we then not also quote the Rabbi of Bethlehem? Shall not he in whom there burned, if it burned in any one, the spirit and the light of Judaism, be reclaimed by the synagogue? Yea, he hath been reclaimed. Happy this day, when Judaism again finds her son, the son comes back to the mother laden with the rich reward of his quest. The New Testament in the gospels presents Jewish thought, Jewish religion, Jewish universalism. Not an advance beyond Judaism, but a correspondence with Judaism, we have in the doctrine of Jesus, who was Jew and man; and because man, son of God."
PEACE, TROUBLED SOUL, THOU NEED'ST NOT FEAR. – THE "EXPLOSION" NOISY, BUT DID LITTLE INJURY. – THE WHOLE ARMOR NEEDED, NOT THE HELMET MERELY. – NEW TACTICS OF THE CONSPIRATORS. – THE NIGHT COMETH. – REPORT OF SISTER RUSSELL'S TOUR. – A PENTECOSTAL MEMORIAL. – LETTERS FROM EVERY QUARTER.
We cannot answer all these welcome letters personally, except as the writers will accept this Thanksgiving Number as a reply. Be assured that your expressions of warm brotherly love are fully reciprocated by us. You thus give evidence of having attained a growth in grace mentioned by the Apostle (1 Pet. 1:22), "Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth in its spirit UNTO UNFEIGNED LOVE OF THE BRETHREN, – love one another with a pure heart fervently."
While we herewith publish extracts from many letters, that the voice of the Church may be generally heard for mutual encouragement, yet do not consider the omission of others as a lack of appreciation, for we can publish only a few in comparison to the number received. But be assured that all such letters are prized and will be preserved. And as soon as circumstances will permit we will have our office helpers make an alphabetical list of the names of the writers, – for an everlasting remembrance of God's grace and your steadfastness in this trial.
From these letters we have already expunged considerable that might be construed as personal laudation; but we have allowed more to remain than our modesty would permit under other circumstances. For the sake of them that stand by (John 11:42), we feel it to be duty to permit our friends to express themselves with considerable freedom, as an offset to the calumnies of the "false brethren" before the minds of the newer readers. But let none esteem this as our victory. We may truly say: "This is the Lord's doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes." [R1659 : page 164]
The effect upon the Church is the very reverse of what the Enemy designed: it is, as they express it, drawing nearer than ever to their hearts the WATCH TOWER publications and the general interests of the harvest work. The true sheep are being awakened to fresh zeal in the Master's service, as this storm indicates to us all that the weight of trouble, which is to usher in the Millennial morning, is fast approaching. They are beginning to see what we have repeatedly sought to impress upon all; viz., that the favorable period of quiet for study and for fitting on the whole armor of God, is to be followed by a severe "battle," in which every piece of that armor will be needed and will be thoroughly tried; a time in which there will be less and less opportunity for putting on the armor, because of the severe and repeated conflicts which our great enemy will be permitted to wage against us.
All this is clearly shown by the Apostle's words, "Take unto you [put upon you] the whole armor of God [beforehand], that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day; and, having done all [that you can do, in the way of armoring, etc.], stand [firmly and valiantly in the battle, defending yourself and those of the household of faith within your reach]." – Eph. 6:13.
Those who have put on the helmet only, who have merely a theoretical or intellectual knowledge of the Truth, are in great danger. They are far more exposed than those who have only a large shield of faith. But none are ready for the conflict, already beginning, except those having on the complete armor. No more armor is provided than will be needed in this evil day. All need the "HELMET" of intellectual appreciation of God's great plan. All need the "BREASTPLATE" of righteousness; not only of Christ's imputed righteousness, but also of the actual righteousness of heart, – of will or intent – which alone can appreciate and appropriate the imputed righteousness of Christ. All need the "SHIELD" of faith, – a trust in God which will protect from all the fiery darts and trials of the enemy. All need to have and to know how to use the "SWORD" of the spirit, the Word of God, so as to defend themselves and others from the insidious attacks of the foe. And all need the "SANDALS," – consecration, patience and fortitude in order to keep the narrow, rugged way and not become weary and faint of heart.
Our chief joy in this connection, dear friends, was to find that the great Enemy's effort to shatter the body of Christ and to disturb the harvest work had so signally failed. The body of Christ is not divided. The true sheep heard the Master's voice, saying, "He that is not for me is against me, and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad;" and many have been awakened by the noise of this "explosion," and are more than ever on the alert to note the very tones of the Master's voice and to watch to be "guided by his eye."
A few, no doubt more than we yet know of, will fall by the way, "offended" by the trial which the Lord's providence permitted for this very purpose of "sifting." As yet, however, more than six weeks after their attack, we do not know of a dozen in all who have been injured by the falsehoods and "bombs" of this wicked plot, – aside from the conspirators and about ten of the German congregation here who do not understand the English language and for whom we cannot speak. And of that dozen we regret to say that three were in our office and of our household, and were for some time, it now appears, directly and indirectly under the influence of the conspirators. The special and cunning attack made by the great Enemy upon those closest to us, in these three cases took effect; but believing them all to be true children of God, we have hope for their speedy recovery from this snare of the fowler. Indeed, we already have intimations from two of these that they are beginning to see matters in their true light.
However, the "Extra," with our complete refutation of all the false and wicked charges of the conspirators, was just in time; for, not content with printing the falsehoods, two of them, who had no money with which to pay their accounts, had suddenly plenty of it to spend in railway fares traveling east and west to see the sheep and personally "rub in" upon them their slanderous charges. Wherever they went we heard from them through faithful ones, who discerned their spirit, that it was far from the spirit of Christ, and backed by envy and ambition; [R1659 : page 165] and who thereby were put on their guard against believing such absurd slanders.
Wherever they were well received and got subscriptions to their proposed paper, they were mild and bland, and stroked only with the "fur;" [R1660 : page 165] but they let out "claws" upon any who refused to subscribe and who said they would wait until they heard from Brother Russell, before coming to any conclusion. In their anxiety to get subscriptions and donations – "money from the fish" – they resorted, it seems, to almost any kind of misrepresentation and falsehood.
But even this partial success lasted but a short time, – until the WATCH TOWER Extra reached the "sheep." Then their work was at an end: the answer being quite sufficient to satisfy all who rejoice not in iniquity, but who take pleasure in righteousness and truth.
As nearly as we can learn they received only about a hundred subscriptions, and many of these by personal misrepresentations and on the plea of sympathy and friendship, before our Extra appeared. And since then many have written them canceling those subscriptions and telling them in substance that they had been obtained by misrepresentations, and that as they could expect only error and darkness from teachers with such a spirit they would rather lose the money paid than have their paper for nothing.
Not only so, but of the about six hundred subscribers to the German paper published by Mr. O. von Zech, about one-third or two hundred are TOWER readers, who have taken his paper chiefly to encourage the work amongst the Germans, and who have donated money for the work as well as paid their subscriptions. These have seen the ambition and treachery, and many are indignant and have concluded to stop those donations and subscriptions. Some have sent us copies of the letters they sent to Mr. Zech. They reason rightly, that to do anything to encourage people with such a spirit is not gathering with the Lord, but scattering abroad. (Matt. 12:30.) They reason further, that if, as these men profess, they have felt themselves in bondage for years, then that would account for their keeping in line with the truths presented in the WATCH TOWER, and that, to be consistent with their own profession of new-found liberty, they will necessarily try now to publish something different, just to prove to themselves and others that they are free. The fact is, however, they never were in any bondage to us, except that they well knew that any deflection from the foundation principles of divine truth would mean a break of Christian fellowship with us. Our loyalty to the Lord demands of us that all his friends be ours, and that our Christian fellowship be with none others than those he fellowships.
But some of them, evidently, were under bondage to those foundation principles of God's word, as will be seen from Sister Peck's and Brother Mitchell's letters, which tell how Mr. Rogers favored the no-ransom views, and how he introduced the TOWER and DAWN readers in Rochester to Mr. Barbour, one of the most bold in denying that a ransom was necessary or given, and who, as a consequence of that repudiation of the precious blood, "the wedding garment," was, as long ago as 1878, cast out of the light of present truth into the outer darkness which is upon the whole world, – on the subject of the time and manner of our Lord's presence and Kingdom. Thus quickly we behold the effect of their freedom. Would it not have been far better for Mr. Rogers and all these conspirators had they STAID WITH US in bondage to the word of the Lord? However, while enjoying their freedom, they need to be assured that it is from this, the Lord's bondage, and not from ours, that they have escaped.
However, the conspirators now find that they made a great blunder in their effort at assassination. It is far less successful than their former method of administering slow poison by confidential "whisperings" and insinuations. As a consequence, without any change of heart, they are changing their methods and are now endeavoring to entrap by smooth words those whom they alarmed and put on guard by the venomous spirit of their first libelous circular, which, however, represented their real sentiments. They will, of course, endeavor to bring forth some "new light," to justify their claims as great teachers, and this will be the open door by which they will go into "outer darkness;" for we cannot expect that those who have so [R1660 : page 166] lost the spirit of the truth will be allowed to stay in its light.
Indeed, one of the conspirators recently interviewed said that for his part he would rather die than retract. This only confirmed what we had feared, – that their jealousy, envy and malice had eaten as doth a canker, into their hearts, so that they loved as well as made their lies and slanders. Alas! Who can say but that their course persisted in would indeed result in death – the Second Death? (Rev. 22:15.) What we have recently experienced was quite evidently only the outbreak of the venomous disease which for a long time has eaten at their very hearts. Such virulent diseases do not develop suddenly. Not for all the world would we occupy their places.
Of course, if they would fully confess their sins and heartily repent of them, we would rejoice, and would freely forgive them. But such a course is scarcely supposable in the cases of those who have been plotting and scheming this attempted assassination for so long a time; and who meanwhile have been writing such letters as the Zech letters published in our last Extra. We certainly would be stupid dupes if we allowed ourselves to be again deceived by professions of love and friendship without requiring the least evidence of a radical change of heart. And to reinstate such men in the confidence of the Church without the most thorough evidence of a radical change of heart would only be to expose the Lord's people to new dangers. Even should they repent, it would be far from wise for the Church to recognize them as teachers or leaders in any sense; nor would the humility which would necessarily accompany such repentance expect or desire such an office in the Church after such conduct.
The result of this storm will undoubtedly be beneficial to quite a number like Brother Thorn, whose letter shows that the slow poison of whispered slander had been administered to him; and Sister Hamilton's letter tells the same story. Surely this experience must work for good to all who love righteousness and are called according to God's purpose. One lesson will be, not to tolerate "back-biters," "whisperers" and "busybodies," who bear false witness against their neighbors. Keep no confidence with such. Expose them at once to those they seek to defame.
But praise God for the deliverance which he has brought about, for his truth and for his people! Never did we see more markedly than in this experience the wonderful leadings of his Providence. The simple statement in our issue of April 1st, of the facts relative to "The Work in England" (and in the light of recent developments all can see that its treatment of Mr. Rogers was very fair and very kind), served to prepare the minds of all for something to come; – especially the statement that Mr. Rogers left us in an angry mood, expressing his intention to influence as many of the colporteurs as possible to his new mendicant method. In the same issue appeared the article entitled "Lest ye enter into Temptation." That article was written about a month before the conspiracy broke forth, and it was the subject of the Sunday discourse to the Allegheny church after it was written. We do not wonder now, in the light of what we see must have been their murderous condition of heart, that some of the conspirators who were present and heard that discourse said they did not like it. We are confident that Satan did not like it either. But we are sure that under God's providence it was "meat in due season" to many, and that in the spirit of watchfulness and prayer which it helped to awaken lay the safety and preparation of many of the sheep and the lambs of the Lord's fold.
The only portion of those TOWERS written after the conspiracy had shown itself was the brief statement in the April 15th issue, entitled "Watch With Me One Hour." Yet these providential safe-guards were enough, apparently, and all the dear sheep were prepared for something. How evidently our present Lord had provided that the enemy should not pluck any of the true sheep out of his hand.
Before our "Extra" was issued, Sister Russell received a letter from Sister Peck, saying that Mr. Rogers had visited her on his course eastward from Cleveland to New York City, and that at the various points along the way, where he knew of interested readers of the TOWER, he was stopping to accomplish, if possible, his work [R1660 : page 167] of destruction. He represented Bro. Russell as in a "deplorably sinful state" – dishonest, traitorous, a liar, etc. And all this he did in such a smooth and deceptive way that some seemed influenced by it; for only when he was boldly and persistently opposed, did his evil spirit manifest itself.
My loyal and dearly beloved helpmate said at once: This is a slander which I alone can refute for you and the Lord, and it should be done personally. If you will consent, I will start at once, meet Mr. Rogers and his shameless falsehoods, and silence him forever on that score. Then I will go over the route he has just been over and meet the friends and expose his malicious untruths. I consented, knowing that her visit would be specially profitable to those Mr. Rogers had met and personally influenced and prejudiced before they got the Extra exposing the conspiracy.
Sister Russell's journey of nearly three weeks was specially blessed of the Lord. She went from New York City, stopping at various places, through New York and Ohio, to Chicago and back to Allegheny. The result is everyway encouraging to the truth.
Sister Russell arrived home on the last day of May, and to a surprise party of about fifty of the church friends who, notwithstanding the rain, met at our home to welcome her back, she related the experiences of her journey, and the Lord's favor in connection therewith. During her eighteen days absence she traveled two thousand miles, visited the congregations of the Church in ten cities, spoke nine times, on an average over an hour at each place. We have requested that she write out a little account of her journey for the benefit of the Church in general, and it follows: – [R1661 : page 167]
To the dear friends who bade me Godspeed as I left them at various points along the route from New York to Chicago, and also to those at home and abroad elsewhere, who are anxious to learn what I have observed of the condition of the church since the late storm has passed over it, I will report as briefly as possible as follows: –
First, in a general way. Though I have frequently met with various companies of those of this precious faith and hope, and have seen them rejoicing in hope and patient in tribulation, never before have I seen them awed with such a feeling of deep solemnity and serious consideration. This is manifest not only from my visit, but also from the many letters received; and while we greatly feared for the stability of the household as we entered into this storm-cloud, we come out of it now rejoicing to realize that the spirit of the Lord is so manifest in our midst. Our Lord predicted that the fiery trials of this evil day would try every man's work of what sort it is; and now the Church has passed through a most severe ordeal, and the confidence one in another has grown stronger as we have seen each other tested and proved.
Indeed, the spirit of moderation and kindly judgment and patient waiting for sure testimony, of slowness to impute evil, etc., which has characterized the Church everywhere, has been a matter of almost surprise to us; for we would surely have supposed that more would be caught in the snare of the fowler. As an illustration of this spirit of caution and moderation I cite the case of the Church in London. The circulars of our enemies were sent there in three packages, to three different parties, to be distributed to the Church in London. Sister Horne, who received one of the packages, after reading the circular and being very much shocked by it, as all have been, soon came to the conclusion that it must be the work of the great enemy, Satan; and she accordingly decided that she would not distribute her package. But presuming that the other two would do so, she at once wrote letters to the various members, urging all to reserve their judgment for the present and wait until they should have time to hear from America from Bro. Russell, who, she felt confident, would be able to clear himself from those charges. After she had mailed her letters the two brethren who had received similar packages called upon her to consult together as to what would best be done. [R1661 : page 168] They had not distributed their packages either, and desired to wait for further testimony on the subject. Then Sister Horne wished she had not sent her letters, as the London Church were still in ignorance of the trouble. However, as they would now be inquiring to learn what had happened, the three decided to call a special meeting of the London Church and to read to them the circular letters and give their own impressions, – that it looked like the work of the great enemy, – and to urge all to patient waiting and prayer that the Lord might in due time vindicate his own cause and keep his own people.
Sister Horne then wrote to us a kind letter of sympathy and comfort, informing us of these facts and of their waiting and prayerful attitude. On receiving this and similar testimonies from other companies in various parts, we thanked God and took courage, and said, surely the spirit of the Lord is in the midst of his people. He knoweth them that are his, and no weapon that is formed against them shall prosper. Yes, we greatly rejoice in this; for although the late troubles have revealed the workings of Satan, and made us to realize painfully that some whom we had esteemed as true brethren in Christ and partakers with us of the high calling and of this ministry of the truth, were actually false brethren and bitter secret enemies, they have also manifested in a most remarkable way that the spiritual condition of the Church at large was a healthy one, and capable of resisting the virulent pestilence that was abroad, which, like a great tidal wave, suddenly and unexpectedly swept over the whole Church.
But now for the occasion and facts of my recent visit: Learning from letters received the purpose of Mr. Rogers to meet with the Churches of New York and Brooklyn on Sunday, May 13th, and of the object of his visit there, which might be judged from the reports of his course all along the line from Cleveland eastward through central New York, I proposed to my husband that if he would allow me to go to New York City I would attend the meeting, let him make his false statements to my face and challenge him for proof of his assertions. The object of his tour was to get as many subscriptions to their new paper as possible before our defense – "A Conspiracy Exposed" – should appear, and as far as possible to nullify the effects of that pamphlet in advance, as they knew it was in course of preparation, it having been announced to the Allegheny Church. To do this, Mr. Rogers falsely represented Mr. Russell as a liar, and his wife and all his household – the office helpers – as compelled by him, by force of circumstances, which he very specially and falsely particularized, to lie for him. He stated that he had seen Sister Russell weep bitter tears over Bro. Russell's sins, though he never saw me in tears in his life; and for ten days previous to this despicable business he had been a witness of the peace and tranquility of our home, the hospitality of which he has so grossly abused.
I left Allegheny for New York City on Saturday night, May 12th, and arrived there on Sunday morning, where I was met by Bros. Mott and West, the leaders of the New York and Brooklyn meetings. They told me that Mr. Rogers was in the city, and that Mr. Zech was also expected. Later I learned that Mr. Rogers had endeavored to have a meeting on Saturday evening, but that as it was a failure, no one attending, there was no hope for his holding a meeting on Sunday, though they supposed he would attend their regular meetings. It was therefore arranged that I should speak to the New York company in the afternoon and to the Brooklyn company in the evening.
I chose for the subject of my remarks to the New York company 2 Cor. 4:5-9 and 1,2, and called attention to the very similar experiences of the Church now and in the harvest of the Jewish age, and particularly of those engaged in the special ministry of the Word of Truth then and now. We take our stand with the Apostle Paul preaching, "not ourselves, but Christ Jesus, the Lord, and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts," etc. And this glorious shining in our hearts has impelled us to let our light shine out upon others. And, thank God, the blessed radiance has illuminated many hearts, and as one after another receives it and in turn becomes a luminary to others, the glory of God is seen more and more in his Church. [R1661 : page 169]
Like the Apostle, we well realize that we have this treasure in imperfect earthen vessels; but, thank God, the very frailness of the vessels only manifests the more clearly that the excellency of the power is of God and not of us. To ourselves we take none of the glory of the power which is now accomplishing the great harvest work of sealing, separating, ripening and perfecting God's own elect for the high office to which they are called. The power is of God, and we are glad to be counted worthy to be his servants in any capacity that he can use us, no matter how much of reproach and persecution may be the present reward of such service.
True, in the midst of persecution for the sake of the truth and righteousness, like some of the early Church, "we are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed." Yet, notwithstanding all this, and yet more that may be in store for us in the future, seeing we have this ministry, we faint not; nor will we handle the Word of God deceitfully, nor make any improper use of our stewardship as servants of God, to gain the favor of men or to abate the persecution from the enemies of the truth and of its faithful service. To our Master we stand or fall, and we desire the approval, sympathy and co-operation of those only who are in fullest accord with the spirit and Word of God.
I then told the friends there of the object of Mr. Rogers' visit to their city, and read to them the letters telling of his miserable work elsewhere, and particularly how he was representing me as in actual opposition to my husband's course, but in enforced co-operation. I told them of his barefaced falsehoods and refuted them with indubitable testimony to the contrary, being able in some cases to produce the written testimony of friends about whom he had falsified, they having written to us to the contrary of his statements, though not knowing of them.
In the evening I spoke to the Brooklyn meeting, on the Bible warning, "Beware" – "Beware of the concision" [the dividing spirit, the spirit of contention, which genders unholy strife, etc.], "Beware of false prophets," of "evil men," of "the leaven of the pharisees," of "covetousness," of "philosophy and vain deceit;" "beware of dogs," of quarrelsome, snappish dispositions, always selfishly seeking their own advantage; and finally, "Beware, lest ye, also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness." "And be ye not as the horse or as the mule, which have no understanding, whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle," but in the legitimate use of our intellectual endowments, let us apply our hearts unto instruction. – Phil. 3:2,3; Matt. 11:15-20; 10:17; 16:6,12; Luke 12:15; Col. 2:8; 2 Pet. 3:17; Psa. 32:8,9; Prov. 23:12.
The divinely inspired words of warning are very explicit, instructing us all to be ever on the watch that we be not caught in any snare of the adversary. We stand in the midst of perilous times. Let us beware: the Church militant has well nigh accomplished her warfare, [R1662 : page 169] and her great foe, seeing that his time is short, is exceedingly industrious to foil the purpose of God in her completion, exaltation and establishment as his Kingdom. His efforts in this will, of course, be futile; but they will surely serve the Lord's purpose in gathering out of his prospective Kingdom all things that offend. Therefore, take heed, let no man take thy crown. – Rev. 3:11.
Like Gideon's band, only the few who prove loyal and strong and true to the end will share with Christ the honor of bringing forth judgment unto victory by the Millennial reign of righteousness. And let all who value the prize of their high-calling beware of all the snares and temptations of this evil day. Do not aspire to be some great one now: be contented to wait for the glory that is to be revealed in us, remembering that he that humbleth himself shall be exalted, and he that exalteth himself shall be abased. Surely all who have a true faith can afford to wait and patiently bear the cross, especially seeing that the time is short – oh, so short; for only a score of years will see the Kingdom in both its spiritual and earthly phases established.
I then rehearsed to the Brooklyn friends the object of my visit and of the present necessity for calling attention specially to these words of [R1662 : page 170] warning, telling them of the object of Mr. Rogers' visit there and stating that I was there for the express purpose of meeting his assertions with the truth, which he was so unwilling to face that he had not appeared at either meeting. His absence, under the circumstances, was a quite sufficient refutation of his false statements, so boldly made elsewhere in our absence.
Having set the truth of these matters fairly before the New York and Brooklyn companies, and assured them fully of my personal liberty, as being in no sense fettered by my husband, etc., I was fully assured by them that they were a unit in their condemnation of the whole conspiracy, that they recognized it as the work of Satan whose tools these men had become, and that nothing they could say or do would move the Church there; that Mr. Rogers' past course while in the colporteur work thereabouts had led them to rather expect such a fall, so that they were much less surprised by it than we had been.
Bro. Mott handed me, with privilege to use as I saw fit, a copy of a letter sent by him to Mr. Rogers before the conspirators had issued their slanderous circular, but after we had learned something of the plot and had sent word of it to a few of the Churches. It reads as follows: –
BRO. ROGERS: – Your first letter was followed by one from Bro. Russell, since which I have seen Bro. West and others of the "household" in this vicinity. In reference to this matter, which has intruded into the Church, I voice the sentiments of at least a majority – all to whom I have talked – in stating that it is shocking and most inopportune. At a time when all are preparing for one of the most solemn observances of the year [the Memorial Supper], you come and propose a meeting, which, if permitted, would absolutely spoil the whole spirit of the occasion. You say you will "try to be well pleased with any arrangements which have been or may be made." Let me say plainly that no arrangements have been or will be made by us with reference to your coming here; we do not want to see or hear you under present conditions. If you come here, you can make your own arrangements and introduce your peculiar views in any way you see fit; but understand that the channels through which the truth is being distributed among us will not be at your service.
In regard to your last letter: I am disgusted that any one claiming to be of the Lord's people should so far forget himself as to pry into and seek to make public any of Bro. Russell's family affairs. Has Sister Russell applied to you for aid? Until she does, her domestic relations should be held sacred. I may as well tell you frankly that, while I have always esteemed you for the sake of your usefulness in the colporteur work, your course in other matters has displayed deplorably bad judgment, and I have only one opinion on the subject in hand; viz., You have erred sadly; and although the cause of the truth will not suffer eventually you will see the results of your recent movements in the downfall of those whom possibly you may persuade to think with you. "It must needs be that offences come, but woe unto him by whom the offence cometh."
What you have written is not new to me, as you suppose. A long time since certain rumors reached me; but those who gave them currency have lived to be ashamed of the injustice done to the victim of what seems to be but jealousy and ambition for leadership.
On my journey westward I spoke on the same and kindred topics, and always with the same results; viz., the hearty assurance of the friends that the TOWER Extra had been quite satisfactory, and that the personal, gauzy misrepresentations of these men, which they had only slightly credited anyhow, were now fully dispelled. A few special incidents, connected with my journey, will, no doubt, be of general interest.
I found that Mr. Rogers had advocated no-ransom views, and introduced no-ransom literature, to a Presbyterian minister, who, for over a year, has been a reader of ZION'S WATCH TOWER, making good progress toward the fulness of light and liberty in the truth. Mr. Rogers had also misrepresented my husband to alienate this gentleman's sympathy and esteem. And evidently he had been successful in at least confusing his ideas on both subjects. I am specially glad I met this brother, as I was able to clear away all his doubts. He expressed himself as greatly relieved of a heavy burden which had been oppressing him, and as now able to help some interested ones in his congregation who had been similarly disturbed. He rejoiced in the full vindication of Bro. Russell's character. [R1662 : page 171] This brother remarked, I am preaching these truths and with good effect on my congregation, and I have not yet been interfered with. A number in his congregation are readers of the TOWER and DAWN.
At Rochester, in addition to the misrepresentations of my husband and all connected with the TOWER office, Mr. Rogers had introduced Mr. Barbour, an old enemy of the cross of Christ and of Bro. Russell, its fearless champion (See TOWER Extra pages 104-109), thus endeavoring to put the flock there under the influence of a bold and relentless enemy and his blasphemous teaching. On reaching Chicago I was grieved to find additional testimony that Mr. Zech and Mr. Adamson were pursuing a similar course of misrepresentation, but on different lines.
There I learned that the conspirators, realizing that they had failed to accomplish their terrible scheme, are now planning a change of tactics, but without repentance. Mr. Adamson told that at a recent emergency-meeting of the four in Allegheny they had cast Mr. Rogers out of their combination – I suppose because he still persisted in the bolder course which they by this time see is a failure. Mr. Rogers wanted the others to hire a hall for him in Pittsburgh, and to advertise that he would "expose the errors of Millennial Dawn and Zion's Watch Tower." In the light of their recent experiences no wonder the others voted that such a course would be insanely suicidal to their cause, and dropped him.
But nothing can be more evident than that they are as full as ever of the murderous spirit, and that any "reconciliation" would only mean another opportunity to "blow Mr. Russell and his work sky-high;" – an opportunity to do and say things privately as before, so that they could not be caught and exposed. As evidence of this, Mr. Adamson has a type-written letter from Mr. Zech, which I have seen and read. This letter he is loaning around amongst the Chicago Church (which no longer tolerates him as a teacher), on condition that they first promise that they will make no copy of it, nor allow it to pass out of their hands; – evidently fearing that its false presentations, if copied, would come to my husband's eyes and be exposed. Verily, they love darkness and secrecy, because their deeds are evil. Alas! how hard it is to realize that we have been so grievously deceived in these men.
Mr. Zech furthermore is evidently in a private way seeking to give the inference that if he should fail in his business it would be my husband's fault. I am told that he says "I don't know what I may be obliged to do if Mr. Russell should push me." He does know, however, that such words are very deceptive to most people, who know little about business matters. I explained to the German sister who told me this, that if either one got pushed by the other, it would be my husband who would be pushed by Mr. Zech. My husband, having indorsed thirty-two hundred dollars of Mr. Zech's notes without one cent of security, will surely be pushed by the banks who hold those notes, if Mr. Zech does not pay them.
Mr. and Mrs. Adamson are at the same business of misrepresentation. A Norwegian sister, with whom I took tea in Chicago, said to me before I left, Oh! Sister Russell, I am so glad that you visited us, I am so glad to get personally acquainted; for Mrs. Adamson has been telling us lately that you are very haughty and proud, and I am so glad to know that it is not true. And Mr. Adamson said to us recently – "The Church in Allegheny is rotten." I answered, "How is that Mr. A.? You told us not long ago of the Church there, that they were such noble Christians, and all so harmonious. How is it now that you have suddenly changed your mind and say they are all 'rotten?' In what respect are they 'rotten?'" "Well," said he, "I mean to say that they are only 'babes.'" "But," I replied, "are babes rotten?" [R1663 : page 171]
I assured the sister that while some false brethren have recently disclosed themselves and removed the sheep's clothing they formerly wore, yet we have some as noble hearts in the Allegheny Church as are to be found on earth. And as for their being "babes," I could tell her that some here who are "babes" in "malice" (1 Cor. 14:20), compared with Mr. Adamson, could instruct him on the proper interpretation of parables, as well as show him that some of his recent Chicago preaching is very unscriptural. I refer [R1663 : page 172] to his telling the Church there that if they found the narrow way of the high or heavenly calling too difficult, they could turn aside and run for the restitution prize of human perfection, and that the ancient worthies may be looked for any day now – before the "first resurrection," of the Church, is completed.
This sister also told me of a very remarkable dream of another of the Norwegian sisters, a near neighbor. A short time ago, she said, Sister W. came over to my house in the morning to tell me that in her dream, which made a very deep impression on her mind, she had seen and heard Bro. Russell preaching these precious truths "in our own beautiful Norwegian language"; and while she listened enraptured with it, some one in the congregation hurled a stone at the head of the preacher, which struck him in the mouth, from whence the blood flowed profusely. She ran to his aid and tried to wipe away the blood, which only flowed the more.
Then the scene suddenly seemed to change, and she held in her hand an open Bible, whose pages were mirrors. On one page was reflected a great and venomous serpent, which caused her to fear and tremble so that she could scarcely hold the book. Yet she feared to let it fall, lest it might break. But as she tremblingly held it, she glanced at the opposite page, where she read, – "The God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly." Then she awakened in great excitement. It seemed at the time prophetic; and when the late storm broke over Bro. Russell and the Church, she at once recalled its peculiar impressions. Several others have mentioned similar dreams preceding this trouble, and they seem strangely prophetic.
Mr. Adamson also told that my husband forbids people to marry, and as a proof of this related how he once sent Mr. Bryan a three days' journey into the country at an expense of twelve dollars, in order to prevent a wedding. I answered that this statement is as untrue as the others; that Mr. Russell never forbade any one to marry, and that not a living being could truthfully say that he or she had been forbidden; but that I knew that when his opinion was specially asked he gave the Apostle Paul's advice, and as nearly as possible in his words, citing them. (1 Cor. 7:25-35.) And when I had given a truthful explanation of his proof, above referred to, all saw that it was to my husband's credit that he spared neither trouble nor expense in order to let a sister in Christ know something of what he knew of the character of the man she was about to marry; that, thus informed, she might the better judge for herself whether or not he would make a desirable husband. Mr. Bryan who took that letter, and who brought it back undelivered, because too late to be of service to the sister, knows the truth of the matter, while conniving with Mr. A. at its misrepresentation of my husband's character and teachings. Anything to down Mr. Russell's influence, – seems to be their motto.
In the same connection, Mr. Adamson is telling that Mr. Russell wrote to him shortly after he was married, telling him that he should make his Will so as to give what money he had to the Tract Fund, and to be sure not to let Mrs. A. see that letter. They affirmed this story in my presence, and said they had the letter in hand. I denied it emphatically, well knowing my husband's disposition to the contrary. I asked them to read the letter aloud to us all, but they refused to do so, and this clearly showed to all present that the statement was not worthy of credence. Only since my return home have I learned the truth on the subject, as follows:
Shortly after Mr. A's marriage, Mrs. A., it seems, declared that she "was not going to race over the country after him, like a mad dog." In writing to Mr. Russell on the subject, Mr. A. said, in substance, "What money I have was all consecrated to the Lord before I married; and in the event of my death I do not intend that any of it shall go to Mrs. Adamson or her folks: it shall go to the Tract Fund."
In his reply to that letter, my husband urged that Mrs. Adamson be not ignored; that as a wife she had a just claim upon him; – that on general principles any woman he would call his "wife" deserved consideration as such, even if out of harmony on religious subjects, as Mrs. A. then was, according to his representation. But he advised that if Mr. A. decided to will any portion of his effects to the Tract Fund, it would be wise, under the circumstances he [R1663 : page 173] described, and to the interest of his domestic happiness, not to inform Mrs. A. respecting it. That is probably the letter they had in hand, and were afraid to read lest their misrepresentations should be made manifest. Thus do falsehoods force the truth to view. – Matt. 10:26.
As illustrating the depth of wickedness to which these men would stoop, under the influence of envy and ambition, I told the Church how Mr. Adamson had written to Bro. Wright (and we know not to how many others), citing 1 Cor. 5:1-6 without comment, as applicable to my husband. Mr. Adamson could not deny the fact, under the evidence, but protested that he had not intended any reflection upon Mr. Russell's moral character. But Bro. McPhail, of the West Chicago meeting, spoke up and said that Mr. Adamson had made the same citation before that congregation, and reminded Mr. A. that he had challenged the reference then and there. Some of the brethren present remarked that such a charge would have no weight with anyone who knew Mr. Russell or who had ever looked into his face. In telling what inference he did wish to give by the citation named, Mr. A. replied that he meant to say that Mr. Russell is a "railer." But since railers are not mentioned at all in the citation, but five verses further down in the chapter, I showed that this is only one of the many cunning methods of misrepresentation resorted to by these wicked men – because they do not know any real crimes to lay to his charge.
I mention these items here, because no doubt they have been similarly misstated orally or by letter to others; and to show that the same spirit that prompted the misrepresentations of their first attack still controls them, and that reconciliation with such people, under such conditions, would neither be possible, nor desirable, nor right, nor Scriptural. Better, far better off, is the Church without these men and all who have sympathy with such unscrupulous conduct. Indeed, while I was speaking at Chicago upon the duty of the Church as laid down in Matt. 18:15-17 and 2 Thes. 3:6 (See TOWER Extra, page 66), and showing that such men were not to be accounted again as "brethren" unless they first make full confession and give evidence of a heart repentance by as industriously attempting to undo the wrong as they exercised themselves in doing it, Mr. Adamson spoke up and said, "I do not repent. I would do the same thing again to-morrow." I replied, You are unto me, therefore, under the instruction of the Scriptures, as a heathen man and a publican; – as "a heathen man" in that I can no longer have any Christian fellowship with you; as "a publican" in that I can no longer respect you as I could respect an honorable man of the world.
On the whole, my visit among the Churches gives reason for great encouragement; for surely if the Lord were not in the midst of his people such a virulent attack of the Adversary to destroy and scatter the flock would have done great damage. But I found everywhere a noble spirit of patience, faith, moderation and zeal. With deep sorrow and often with suppressed emotion the course of the conspirators was referred to, and earnest solicitude for the young of the flock was manifested. In every place the sentiments expressed were that these sad and painful experiences only served to draw their hearts nearer to God and nearer to all his faithful people, who stand shoulder to shoulder and heart to heart in the conflicts of this evil day.
All such – and that is all that I met from New York to Chicago, with perhaps a single exception, or possibly two, – having stood this shock so bravely and well, feel only the stronger for the probably more severe conflicts yet to follow. The necessity for prayer and communion one with another and with the Lord is also more fully realized; and thus the body of Christ will be the more closely knit together in the bonds of mutual sympathy, love and helpfulness.
Many who have already endured much for the truth's sake are now reproached with the words, Oh, you are no better than other people; you call yourselves the "little flock," "the saints," and have as much contention and strife as may be found anywhere; etc., etc. And this is, alas! only too true, and the dear, faithful ones have felt the reproach keenly, and many scarcely knew what reply to make. But the answer is plain and Scriptural; for where did the Lord promise that his "little flock" of consecrated and faithful followers should be exempt from all intrusions of false prophets, false teachers, false brethren, [R1663 : page 174] yes, and of wolves in sheep's clothing? Nowhere is any such assurance left us.
On the contrary, we are distinctly forewarned that, as in olden times there were false prophets among God's people, so there will be also false teachers among us, who privily (privately) will bring in damnable heresies, and that many will follow their pernicious ways, by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of, and that, through covetousness (ambition, etc.) shall they with feigned words endeavor to make merchandise [R1664 : page 174] of you. – 2 Pet. 2:1-3.
Again, we are forewarned of "false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ." "And no marvel," says the Apostle Paul, "for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light; therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works." And Paul also tells of his own "perils among false brethren." – 2 Cor. 11:13-15,26; 1 Tim. 1:20; 2 Tim. 2:17,18; 4:14-18.
The Lord also bids us, "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves;" saying, "Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so, every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit; neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit....Wherefore, by their fruits ye shall know them." – Matt. 7:15-20.
Here, then, is the answer to all such reproaches: We were forewarned by God of the very conditions that now surround us; and that such conditions, while they were quite prominent in the harvest of the Jewish age and beginning of the Gospel age, would more especially characterize this harvest period; for "in the last days" many will have a form of godliness, but deny the power thereof, and such deceptions will make the "perilous times" of this "evil day." (2 Tim. 3:1,5.) If there were a Judas among the apostles, a Hymenaeus, a Philetus, an Alexander and a Simon Magus and others such in the early Church, and if there was a great conspiracy of two hundred and fifty of the princes of Israel, famous in the congregation, men of renown, against the meek and humble instruments which God had chosen wherewith to accomplish the deliverance of his people (Num. 16:2,3), that through the very weakness of the earthen vessels his own glorious power might the more be realized; and since we are distinctly forewarned of God that thus it must be here also – in the last days of the Church's warfare – why should any of his people be dismayed to find it even so? Surely here is an abundant answer for all who would take up a reproach against the anointed body of Christ.
The Church has not yet accomplished her warfare, and her foes multiply on every hand; and their attacks are the more bold, persistent and determined as she approaches the end of her course. They are vigilant, energetic, subtle and relentless; but greater is He that is for us than all them that are against us.
In the bonds of the gospel, Your servant in Christ,
It occurs to us as fitting, that as the Adversary's murderous plot against the Lord's work reached its height on the anniversary of our Lord's betrayal and death, so this thanksgiving issue of the TOWER should be dated just fifty-three days after, – corresponding to the Pentecostal blessing which came upon the faithful ones just fifty days after our Lord's resurrection, – "when the day of Pentecost was fully come, and they were all with one accord in one place."
We rejoice, dear friends, that this anniversary of Pentecost finds so many of us of one accord (of one mind in the truth) and in one place (abiding in the secret place of the Most High, under the shadow of the Almighty). As the early disciples rejoiced and were begotten again to a living hope by the evidences of God's continued favor, manifested in the resurrection of Christ and evidenced on the day of Pentecost, so let us, while rejoicing as they did in the same, additionally recognize the Lord's continuing favor and protecting care over all that are his. Let us rejoice for ourselves and for each other that we still stand; that another sifting has passed, and has not separated us from the Lord and his people.
And let us pray and seek that we may have more and more of the holy spirit of our Master, that more and more we may be about our Father's business – co-workers together with God, ambassadors of the truth, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord. And as the early Church after Pentecost went everywhere preaching the gospel, so let us be renewedly earnest in our fidelity to the truth, to the Lord and to his "brethren." We cannot continue "fervent in spirit" except as we serve the Lord; and we cannot long serve the Lord except we do it from a pure heart fervently. Hence the necessity of activity in the service of God, on the part of all who would stand in this evil day. If our hands be not full of the Lord's service and our mouths full of his praise, it is because our love lacks fervency – heat. And it is into the [R1658 : page 175] luke-warm hearts that the great Adversary gains admission with his spirit of envy, malice, evil-surmisings, strife and every evil work. Such are all to be sifted out as even less esteemed by [R1659 : page 175] our Lord than the coldly indifferent worldly class. He says to such, "Because thou art neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth." Let our love –
"Pure, warm and changeless be,
A living fire."
Thus, turned to good account, our recent sad experiences will become to all of us rightly exercised thereby a Memorial of Divine favor and blessing. And as such it will strengthen us all, cause us to walk still more circumspectly, and prepare us for future trials and siftings. For these no doubt will become more virulent and severe as the remaining years of the Church's pilgrimage roll on. Indeed, as often before noticed, but always well to be remembered, the close of the Church's course, as represented in various types – Elijah, John the Baptist and John the Apostle – is to be one of very severe trial, possibly including physical persecution.
Let this Memorial, and the blessed influences and recollections of faith rewarded and prayers answered, be a landmark for our encouragement and strengthening in future trials.
"Who helped thee last will help thee still;
Be calm, and sink into his will."
Dear Brethren and Sisters, as you prayed for us when you knew we were in the midst of the trouble, so render thanks for us now that it has passed away; and ask for us grace and strength, and humility, to endure whatever trials the Lord may yet see best to permit to come upon us.
And we, here, who prayed for you that the Lord would keep you from being stumbled by the Adversary's snares and deceptions and that your faith fail not, – we will render thanks on your behalf that the God of all grace and comfort has kept his own and not suffered them to be plucked out of his hand, nor to be tempted beyond what they were able, but that with the temptation he provided a door of escape. And we will ask for you that these light afflictions, which are but for a moment, may work out for you and for us all a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.
As ever, your servant in the Lord,
"My soul, with humble fervor raise
To God the voice of grateful praise;
And all thy ransomed powers combine
To bless his attributes divine.
"Deep on my heart let memory trace
His acts of mercy and of grace;
Who with a father's tender care
Saved me when sinking in despair.
"He led our longing souls to prove
The joys of his abounding love.
And when we did his grace request,
He led our weary feet to rest."
"WHETHER ONE MEMBER SUFFER, ALL THE MEMBERS SUFFER WITH IT: OR ONE MEMBER BE HONORED, ALL THE MEMBERS REJOICE WITH IT."
MY DEAR BROTHER IN CHRIST: – Your favor, A Conspiracy Exposed, to hand. I cannot wait until I read it all before offering you my congratulations. "Whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth;" "his grace is sufficient for us," his own, in all trials; and all things work together for good to those who love the Lord. My sympathy I reserve for those poor, misguided ones, who have lent themselves, I am afraid, the too willing tools of Satan. My prayer for you and Sister Russell is that the Lord may prosper you in every good work and word. Your brother in Christ,
[The following letter is from the editor's aged father, who received one of the slanderous circulars. Step by step he has been interested in the present truth since 1872 – being one of the Bible class mentioned in the Extra.]
MY DEAR SON: – It is with love and sympathy in my heart that I write you at this time, after having read the full account of your trials and troubles amongst those whom you accepted as your brethren in Christ. It does seem almost incredible that those people could be guilty of such mean and despicable conduct towards you, from whom they had received so many marks of kindness. But, my dear son, these are some of the trials we all may expect – especially those engaged in the "harvest" work. I am proud of the noble defence you make in vindication of your conduct, and especially in the cause of the [R1664 : page 176] Truth we all love so dearly. I feel confident that you will come out of this trial brighter and more appreciated in your character and works than you ever were before. The good Lord, who has been testing your works, will promote you to still higher honors in his Kingdom; I pray that he may bless you always and sustain you in every good word and work; and to him we will ascribe all the praise forever. Amen.
But while confident that the result will be a final victory for the truth, it is very trying on one who has labored late and early for the last twenty years for the cause of truth, to have his supposed friends turn against him and brand him as a liar and a hypocrite. Oh! it is terrible! I am most surprised at Mr. Bryan: to my mind he is the most deceitful one of them all. If I had known his true character when he came to our house in Richmond, I should have treated him very differently.
I often think of you and your many trials, which you seem to meet very courageously. But with an approving conscience a man can stand considerable, especially if the Lord is on his side to help and strengthen.
With love and congratulations from us all, I remain, your loving father,
MY DEAR BRO. IN CHRIST: – I have read carefully pages 92 to 119 of A Conspiracy Exposed and Harvest Siftings with special interest, and must say my recollection of events named by you are very much like your own; and while there are details, in some cases, of which I know nothing, and hence cannot speak as to them, yet I do know there were such transactions as you name, and at the dates given. I am quite conversant with some of the dealings, and am surprised at the very merciful manner in which you speak of those with whom you were associated. "The servant is not greater than his Lord." "If they have done these things in a green tree, what will they do in the dry?" – "Perils among false brethren," etc., etc.
As ever, Yours in Him,
DEAR BRO. AND SISTER: – We have copy of Extra, and take much pleasure in answering. I know the trial is hard for you to bear; but we are praying earnestly "that your faith fail not." "Think it not strange concerning the fiery trial." "Be patient, therefore, brethren." "Count it all joy."
The Devil uses the best men and women for his work if he can secure them. "Stand fast, therefore;" "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood." One of my favorite Scripture texts is 1 Cor. 16:13,14. "Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong. Let all your things be done with love."
Having had a little experience in colporteur work, and also in preaching orally, we have long ago become convinced that circulating the printed page is almost the only way to reach the hungry and interested ones. I am satisfied in my own mind that you are entirely correct in your views on this matter. We enjoyed the colporteur work, and it was and is one of our hardest trials to be compelled to give it up. Pray for us.
Give our love to all the brethren at Allegheny, and remember us as yours in Christ,
DEARLY BELOVED BROTHER AND SISTER RUSSELL: – A Conspiracy Exposed and Harvest Siftings reached me safely. I praise the dear Lord for this, the other side of the question. I have heard the rumblings of the present storm for quite a long time. As I love you dearly (and often pray for you), it grieved me very much to hear all these things. But I would be surprised if "all men spoke well of you;" for our dear Master was very cruelly spoken against; and if they have misunderstood and condemned and betrayed him, the "holy" and the "just one," how much more we should expect, who are imperfect – yet, praise God, our intentions are perfect. I am delighted to find in your "Exposure" that your course has been highly commended by the intelligent and consecrated ones, and for myself I would say, Rightly so, indeed.
When I received A.B.R. and Z.'s letters containing the blasphemous charges against [R1664 : page 177] your character, I was surprised. I see one of them even went so far as to criticise your views respecting Jacob's dealing with his father in the matter of obtaining the blessing.
See what a different effect the truth on the subject had on a consecrated heart. My heart responded in praises to the dear Lord, for another clear vindication of his glorious character. Truly, "Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart." Many are the afflictions of the righteous; but the Lord delivereth him out of them all. Praise his dear name for such comforting assurances. May the God of all peace comfort your hearts, is the prayer of your humble servant and brother in the Lord,
[We give, by permission, extracts from a personal letter to one of our office-helpers.]
I heard a rumor of this trouble about a year ago, and just after the convention heard another. Neither was very definite, only a hint that "Some of the colporteurs felt that Bro. R. was attempting to lord it over the heritage." In the light of his writings, however, we knew perfectly that the man would never dream of [R1665 : page 177] such a thing; and we concluded that his strict business principles were not appreciated by those persons who had loose ideas of business. There are many well-meaning people who mistake justice for cruelty. A schoolma'am appreciates that fact very thoroughly. Our experience in Chicago strengthened our ideas on the "whispers" – you recall how some had to be kept in their place to enable others to hear what was profitable.
Mother and I feel that Bro. Russell is a "chosen vessel" of the Lord, and we hold him in great esteem for his works' sake. We had two ideas in mind when we went to Chicago; viz., to be baptized, and to see Bro. R. face to face. We were satisfied. His face is one to inspire confidence and we studied it carefully.
When I received those circulars ["bombs"] last April, I was stunned, for Mr. Zech was one of the last persons whom I would have suspected of perfidy. Of course, I know nothing about him except what I have learned through the TOWER. Bro. R. has always spoken so kindly of Mr. Z. that I supposed he was faithful.
After the others retire, Mother and I usually read and talk. That evening I gave her one of the circulars, and we discussed the matter. We decided that Bro. R. would never have been honored by the Lord, had he done the things of which he was accused; that you, Bro. Henninges, would never stay in an office where such things were done; that we would hear the other side of the story before we decided what was the real trouble. We laid the matter before the Lord and told him that we were following him and not any earthly leader; that our sympathy was with Bro. R., for we felt that he was a faithful servant; that we wanted the Lord's help to decide the matter justly, for we had esteemed those whose names were signed to the circular highly for their work's sake, also. So we left the matter. The next afternoon, we compared the letter signed S. D. Rogers with "The Work in England" in the April TOWER. The conclusions were not flattering to Mr. Rogers. We knew that his ideas would not work in our house, for my father and brothers would not tolerate his ideas for a single day. We concluded that he was tired of colporteur work, and wanted an excuse for leaving it. Since we had seen that one of the four was to be blamed, we felt that the other three were in bad company to say the least, and again left the matter.
The "Conspiracy Exposed" is a full reply to every point raised. It is an awful warning to those who neglect to cultivate the fruits of the spirit, for these people seem to have been content with head knowledge rather than heart practice. Mr. Bryan must be a most miserable person. I pity him. That any one could be in daily communion with such people as Bro. and Sister R. and profit so little by their presence is a mystery to me. What manner of man can he be?
We have felt that it will not do to depend upon any "arm of flesh," for it will fail us. So we have long urged our little company here to search the Scriptures and make the truths we love a part of themselves. While honoring Bro. R. and his work, we have used his writings as outlines of Bible study; so that should any difficulty arise, we would not easily be moved or shaken. We think this to be a wise course. God's Word is sure, and when our hope is based upon that alone, we are safe. It is not always an easy matter to study out these things; it is far easier to take Bro. R's word, for we have great confidence in him; but we know that we shall not be permanently benefited unless we appropriate these things to ourselves. Hence we test everything he says to the best of our ability. May the Lord keep us all from falling! With love and sympathy for the friends in the office, I remain
Yours in Christ,
DEAR BROTHER AND SISTER IN CHRIST: – At our Bible Class meeting on last Sabbath, I was requested by the congregation unanimously, and with my most hearty concurrence, to convey to you by letter the information, that, after a full examination of charges against you and your reply to the same, our confidence in and love for you both are greatly increased, and we feel doubly assured that you will not be shaken or moved in the defense and promulgation of the truth, but rather prompted to increased vigor and activity in your noble work. May the Lord who has delivered you from the claws and mouths of the lions be ever with you to direct, strengthen and protect you as his faithful servants.
Your brethren in the Lord,
DEAR SISTER RUSSELL – BELOVED IN THE LORD: – Husband has intended to write Bro. Russell before this, but has been very busy (has in mind to care for some German brethren in L__________who desire to have this trouble interpreted to them), and he is absent now for a few days.
Our confidence that dear Bro. Russell would be able to clear himself of those vile charges, is amply rewarded, and now he only shines brighter in our estimation then before. We praise the dear Lord for his sustenance of you both and all the faithful in this severe trial, and that you know the peace that abides at such times. All who have stood this shock will certainly put themselves yet more firmly on their guard, and realize more and more how dangerous it is to permit a moment of carelessness or indifference. How necessary to pray without ceasing! for otherwise we know not but we may be caught unawares by the enemy, and our feet slip. How perilous are these times; and who shall stand?
The letter written by your office workers, telling of the ways in which they are bound, I am trying to make my own in sentiment; for while I am not yet an active worker, I am trying to prepare myself for whatever the Lord may have in store for me.
"Seemeth it a small thing unto you that the God of Israel hast separated you from the congregation ...to minister unto them?" (Num. 16:9.) The honor which these terribly deceived brethren once had of dispensing the meat provided in due season, is oh! how great; and one (is it wrong?) that I covet.
We contemplate holding a special meeting having for its subject the Ransom; some desiring to understand it more fully. Please remember us especially in your prayers, that we may be strengthened with might by his spirit. God bless you both and continue his upholding of you in his arms.
Yours in our Redeemer,
DEAR BRO. AND SISTER RUSSELL: – When I first received the circular of B.A.R. and Z. I confess I was greatly surprised, as I had learned to hold them in high esteem because of their active zeal for the truth, and I prayed earnestly that if their charges, or any portion of them, were true, God would give you grace and humility to confess your error; but that if they were not true, you might be more and more used of him to feed the household of faith with stimulating and strengthening strong meat. At all events, I felt sure that the teachings of the DAWNS were in harmony with God's truth, and I meant to hold fast to them. Yet I assure you I was not inclined to believe the charges, having many reasons for not believing them; and since you have exploded their bomb more thoroughly than they could, it shows plainly what an infernal machine it was. It may cripple some of the weak sheep, but it will prove fatal to many wolves in sheep's clothing.
Faithfully, Yours in Christ,
MY DEAR BRO. RUSSELL: – The exposure of conspirators in the very heart of Christ's laborers has been the greatest surprise to us since we came to a knowledge of God's plan. Their conscience must be completely asleep, or they could not be compelled to retain such a spirit, which a little consideration would prove to them is of Satan. I fear they are in a most dangerous position, that vanity and pride are causing them to sin against the power of God, which I consider brings on the second death. I think if they could see their condition they would be frightened and humbled by it, and return to the Lord in meekness.
The outside world and the nominal church have truly more sense of justice than they, as they are too honest and just to pick flaws where there are none. I know of a page 179 man here who is a great enemy to you, who wrote to a Presbyterian minister in your city to know who you are and what kind of a man you are, that he might air your bad qualities. But, praise the Lord, I understand the answer came that you are a nice enough man, but very far astray in your religious opinions. This shows how, far and wide, others have been looking for flaws in your character. Oh! how guarded we always ought to be that none may find occasion to stumble over the truth on account of our unworthiness to carry it to them. Trusting you to the care and guidance of the holy power of Jehovah,
Sincerely, Your brother and sister in Jesus,
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL: – The TOWER Extra received and read with a great deal of interest. We felt on reading the letters of others, as well as on realizing more fully the severity of this trial to you and Sister Russell, that our expressions of confidence and sympathy, as given in a former letter, have very partially expressed our mind. We do praise him for this thorough vindication of the cause of truth and yourself, and the evidence of the Lord's gracious overruling to the honor of his name. While our faith has in no degree been shaken, we have been led to a firmer determination as well as a greater nearness to our dear Lord and head.
We realize in it a sad warning: that if the enemy can find in us any vulnerable part he will surely exercise himself. It has called forth from us quite a searching of heart and an examination of the armor. Your article, "Personal Liberty," had a similar effect with the result of my discovering a degree of the same contagion in myself – undervaluing to some degree the talent already blessed by Him and reaching out for other talents not given. How I thank him for the timely rescue! I for one shall not give place to the least entrance of Satan's shaft. The example before us of presuming upon talent not given by the Lord is too clear an indication of the Lord's will to be lost. He shall find me faithful in the one talent placed in my hands. We are more than ever convinced that the colporteuring of DAWN, with the distribution of TOWERS and tracts on subjects requiring explanation, is our means of largest service.
All with whom I have communicated express the same thought: That this is but another of Satan's efforts to deflect the course of the harvest laborers and a prompting of the flesh, individual heart-searching being necessary in order to be amply defended against the adversary and to prevent his gaining any degree of advantage. Our trust is firm in Him who is able to keep us from falling; and you may be sure that you are daily remembered by us before the throne of grace. We are in this yet more fully reminded of the burden of responsibility that rests upon your shoulders; but we know that, with us, you realize that our sufficiency is of God, that the power of God may be made manifest. With much love in Christ to you, Sister Russell and all the faithful ones of the dear household,
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL: – With great joy I received M. DAWN, VOL. I., in Danish, and the tracts for the introduction of the same. So far as I have examined it, it is a very able and faithful translation. Praise be to the Lord and thanks to you and Bro. Samson, now the glad tidings can be sent to Denmark. You will find enclosed check for $50. Please see business slip. I am working hard to fix my home affairs, so as (if the Lord will) to go to Denmark and do some colporteur work there.
I am very sorry to see from the Extra the trouble and trials you have with false brethren. It is liable to make some stumble, but will make others stronger: for true members of the body of Christ will not be deceived by a strange voice, but will be more closely bound together in watchfulness and prayer. I have much sympathy for you and Sister Russell. I know that your trials are severe, because these are men in whom you have had confidence. So far as character is concerned, I have but a short personal acquaintance with you, but in my best judgment you have an uncommonly well-balanced mind and good business capacity; moreover, the Lord has intrusted to you a knowledge of his Word (a key to his storehouse), that he has granted to no one else; and this is proved by your writings. Now if the Lord, who is acquainted with your heart, has placed so much confidence in you and made you his instrument to bring meat in due season for the household page 180 of faith, in this day of the Lord, we also should have confidence in you. This conspiracy will only bring you, with Jacob's earnestness, closer to him. Therefore, brother and sister, be strong! Fear not! The deadly arrows are only passing by! The Captain of our salvation will bring you through more than conquerors.
Remember me in your prayers. Your brother in Jesus,
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL: – I take this opportunity to assure you of my heartfelt sympathy for you and Sister Russell in the fiery trials you have both passed through in the past few weeks, and which you have been able, by God's grace, to endure.
I rejoice to say, dear brother, that the little company in this city has never doubted your allegiance to the truth; and that the sweet incense of our prayers has reached our Heavenly Father, we feel assured, in that you have acquitted yourself so honorably. The last TOWER was joyfully received, and doubly assures us that the Lord still permits you to serve the meat in due season, the second article in particular being strong meat indeed.
Yours in fellowship and love,
I trust that your prayer, viz.: "May we all walk faithfully and humbly in Christ's footsteps – even unto death," will be true of us. Our meetings continue good. The canvass fair. Some newly interested ones constantly coming in, while others move or grow careless.
With gratitude and love, I am, as ever, Your brother in Christ Jesus,
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL: – When our little flock gathered together to-day to read and pray and study God's Word, this severe trial of yours was uppermost in all our minds; and we desire to write you a word of condolence and comfort.
We all feel sad that so many having received kindness at your hands should turn about and be so cruel; we are thankful that you have passed successfully such a severe trial; and we more than ever believe the truthfulness of your teachings.
We pray that the Lord will comfort you greatly by giving you the help of truer and nobler men, will preserve you and us all, and make us more than conqueror through Jesus Christ our Lord.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: – I had a letter from you in the early months of this year, which I have not answered for many reasons, chiefly that I did not know what to write, being torn with conflicting emotions; but now I will hold my peace no longer, for I wish to place myself (in the late unpleasantness) on your side, which I think is also the Lord's side. You have acted a Christian part, and all of the Christian friends should let you know their stand. You remember how Moses said, "Who is on the Lord's side let him come to me." (Ex. 32:26.) I think this is another occasion when the Lord wants every one to show his colors.
Yours in his name,
DEAR BRO. AND SISTER RUSSELL: – I drop you a few lines to inform you of the receipt of A Conspiracy Exposed, and to assure you of my sympathy and Christian love. I read it through with much interest, some amusement at the flimsy charges, and indignation at the attempt to divide husband and wife; but I experienced no surprise at the depths of infamy exposed. I am too old, and have had too much experience of "spiritual wickedness in high places," to be ever surprised at anything in that line. I remember being in great trouble once at seeing much of my work, through Christ, as I thought, pulled down, until that beautiful line occurred to me.
"I left it all with Jesus, long ago."
At once peace and rest came; and now I hope at all times to be able to say, "None of these things move me;" and I feel sure, dear brother and sister, that you are too far page 181 along in the road to be much disturbed by a few "fiery darts." Thank God for the glorious truth! "Great peace have they that love thy law, and nothing shall offend them."
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL: – I have just finished reading A Conspiracy Exposed. Surely you have acted the part of a Christian. I cannot here tell you how much I sympathize with you in this persecution. By the grace of God you have helped me into a light more clear than I ever hoped to realize in this life. May God continue giving strength and courage to overcome.
Your brother in Christ,
DEAR BRO. AND SISTER RUSSELL: – We, the undersigned, followers of our Lord Jesus Christ, with confidence in his all-sufficient sacrifice for our redemption, would hereby tender our sympathy, also our sentiments, in regard to your recent sharp experience of the power of the adversary in your midst.
It is highly gratifying to us to know of your ability to stand in the evil day – though the powers of darkness cast their shadows even in your very household. True, we should expect nothing less from such as you, with your experience, strength and profession; but we remember that even such may be in danger of discouragement under such rude shocks, and we would at least make known our love and esteem in support of the tired hands.
We would not further strife by unnecessarily taking up a line of criticism of the false brethren; but to such we would say that the throwing of "bombs" is of itself, to say the least, nihilistic, anarchist, devilish – infernal in conception, development and results, unworthy soldiers of the cross. And we offer our prayers that such offenders may have the error of their ways brought home to them in such manner as to lead to their repentance – that they may learn a better way of service than by self-exaltation and the overthrow of brethren more advanced, earnest and active in the service; that they may learn to train their weapons, not upon brethren in the front ranks, the fore-front of the battle, but upon the adversary and the powers of darkness – the strongholds of the enemy opposite.
But is even this work all we have to do? We should say not! For what of the time? We rely on the Scriptures for answer, believing that God is his own best interpreter, and find that an all-important work is to seal the servants of God in their foreheads, that they may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all to stand; and we should be about our Master's business.
But, dear brethren, the sower soweth the word, and, as in the case of these false brethren, it sometimes occurs that the lusts of other things, entering in, choke the word and it becometh unfruitful. But we realize that you and yours are such as hear the word, receive it and bring forth fruit; and for our mutual encouragement it is written, "There is nothing hid that shall not be manifested; neither was anything kept secret, but that it should come abroad;" and coupled with this the fair warning: "Take heed what ye hear. With what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you." "For he that hath, to him shall be given; and he that hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he hath." (Mark 4:22-25.) And, in fact, we find the good old Word full of help, encouragement and blessing for those who press along the line of duty; merciful admonitions for the offending, the erring, the unfaithful. "And this also we wish, even your perfection." – 2 Cor. 13:9-13.
Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity.
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL: – I have read A Conspiracy Exposed and hasten to express my sympathy for you in your severe trial. Oh, how I wish I could grasp you by the hand and make you feel that you had one more friend for yourself and the truth.
While I am very much grieved that such able workers for the Lord, as the conspirators have once proved themselves, should turn and pursue the course that they have, and while their loss to the cause and the injury such wolves may do among the sheep is painful to contemplate, I rejoice and am thankful to God that every single charge of page 182 each individual was satisfactorily refuted and made to be as chaff to the wind. I rejoice that while their every effort in the conspiracy has been to wreck the progress of the work by so humbling you that you would not dare to hold up your head again, you seem to have a more earnest zeal for the cause, if possible, than before. I rejoice, too, that while it was endeavored to have the pestilence reach the faithful office-helpers they seem to have escaped unscathed, as instanced by their splendid letter to you. And I am hopeful that all the faithful will be drawn closer and closer together and be made to feel their own danger more, and to be more watchful and earnest.
As for myself, I know that it has influenced me in that direction. I shall, by the help of God, make more earnest endeavor to spread the truth in every possible way. As to my little donations to the Tract Fund, I do not care to hear by certificate how much it is. I do not remember, nor do I care to know. It is sufficient for me to know that it has been properly applied. Only wish I could do a thousand times more. I would like to speak many words for your encouragement in your hour of sore trial, but I reflect that I could not say anything that would give you such cheer as the words of the Master, and I commend you to them; for they are able to build you up and to cause you to rejoice that you are able to suffer reproach and to have all manner of evil said against you falsely. May the Lord strengthen you, shield you and guide and use you to his further glory.
Yours in the service of the Master,
DEAR SISTER RUSSELL: – My heart urges me to write, to express to you the loving sympathy I have felt for you and Bro. Russell, during this terrible testing-time. At first (being still weak in the faith) I was stunned by the four terrible letters, but gradually light came; and now I can see that this trial was meant to teach our "little flock" to rely on no one but our Father and the Master. Then, when we had learned the lesson, our sorrow was turned into joy by Bro. Russell's complete and truly Christian reply to all the cruel accusations evolved from envious and malicious hearts. The shadow to our joy is in hearing that some of those who call themselves followers of our Lord could be lead into such wickedness. This again is a lesson: "Let him that thinketh he standeth, take heed lest he fall."
It is strange that, though I struggled against it, I had from the first a sense of discomfort in Mr. Roger's company, and thought it something wrong in myself which made me feel his preaching almost intolerably tedious. Now I can see it very differently. The man who could write that supplement must be devoid of love and kindliness in his heart.
I can never feel thankful enough for having been led to read M. DAWN, and finding therein a satisfactory explanation of all my difficulties with regard to revealed religion. It seems to me now that what we all need most is "pure religion and undefiled" in our every day life.
That our Father may bless and keep you and Bro. Russell in the "narrow way" to the end, is the prayer of your sister in Christ,
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: – I am sure that you will be anxious to know how the circular sent out by A., B., R. and Z. and your TOWER Extra were received by the Church in Chicago, and how they affected us.
We were very sorry to receive such a venomous circular, and especially from men who had been held so highly by the Church. However, we discovered at once the spirit of envy, strife and jealousy which pervaded the whole circular, and decided that the adversary was at the bottom of it.
The TOWER Extra came; and I am glad to tell you that the spirit in which you wrote is to be highly commended – being essentially Christian. Your answer was not only satisfactory, but it was noble and generous.
We are glad that you remembered that vengeance does not belong to you, and that you did not attempt to take the rod out of God's hands. He (only) knows how much guilt is connected with their sin, and also what penalty to attach. You did what our blessed Lord would have done, and did do, under similar circumstances, "Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again, when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously." We are glad that the spirit of retaliation did not find a place in your answer, and that, while it was impossible for you, under such circumstances, to keep from getting angry, [R1665 : page 183] we are glad that you did not allow yourself to sin. Neither did you "give place to the devil" (Eph. 4:26,27), as the conspirators did.
"No man is really dishonored except by his own act. Calumny, injustice, ingratitude – the only harm these can do us is by making us bitter or rancorous or gloomy: by shutting our hearts or souring our affections. We rob them of their power, if they only leave us more sweet and forgiving than before; and this is the only true victory. We win by love. Love transmutes all curses and forces them to rain down in blessings. Out of the jealousy of his brothers Joseph extracted the spirit of forgiveness. Out of Potiphar's weak injustice, and out of the machinations of disappointed passion, he created an opportunity of learning meekness. Our enemies become unconsciously our best friends, when their slanders deepen in us heavenlier graces. Let them do their worst; they only give us the God-like victory of forgiving them."
Terrible as this thing has been, good will come out of it to all who are rightly exercised thereby. It will bring them nearer the Lord; make them more earnest and self-sacrificing in his service; and assist them to escape the "fiery darts of the wicked" in the future.
Mr. Adamson – at one of the meetings – expressed himself as being "very sorry that this affair ever occurred." We sincerely hope that this sorrow is of a godly kind. "For," says Paul, "godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of." – 2 Cor. 7:10.
[We fear, however (in view of his words uttered in Sister Russell's presence, "I do not repent. I would do the same thing again to-morrow," and his course of continued misrepresentation), that his is not Godly sorrow, but merely that born of disappointment at the failure of their scheme. – EDITOR.]
He (Mr. Adamson) said, also, that he could not see much love in the act of treating him "as an heathen man and a publican." All we have to say to that remark is this: God (who is love) could not and would not ask us to do an unloving act. We could not love God and at the same time disobey him. "If ye love me, keep my commandments;" "He that hath my commandments and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me;" "He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings." – John 14:15,21,24.
"Now here can be no mistake. Nothing can be love to God which does not shape itself into obedience." God counts nothing else as love. So we see that we are perfectly safe in following the instructions of our Lord, as found in Matt. 18:15-17; 1 Tim. 6:4,5 and Rom. 16:17, without overstepping the limits of love or justice.
The Church in Chicago (with but one or two exceptions) are on your side and on the side of the truth; and I am sure are more determined than ever to not only know the truth, speak the truth and defend the truth, but also to live the truth.
May the Lord bless you and Sister Russell and all your household and all the body of Christ at this time; and may he give us all the necessary strength to overcome all temptations and trials in the future.
Your brother, in Christ,
DEAR BROTHER: – After reading the Extra I cannot refrain from sending you some words of encouragement. The charges brought against you have been conceived in ignorance if not malice, especially as relates to the sending of addressed wrappers. This you had a perfect right to do. I am first assistant Postmaster here, and know whereof I speak.
Trusting that you will come out of the affliction like gold that is tried in the fire, and that those that would injure you may come to see the injustice that they have done you and yours and return to the Lord, I remain,
Yours in Christ,
DEAR BRO. AND SISTER RUSSELL: – Words fail me to express to you the state of my feelings while carefully reading through the pamphlet duly received: such a nefarious plot merits righteous indignation. My heart aches for you; but, dear Brother, do not let it vex you; but rather let it be an encouragement; for it should prove to you, as it does to me, the spiritual power and truth of your labors. Wherever one finds Satan most active, be sure it is because there is truth and purity in that which he is aiming to overthrow. Otherwise it would be beneath his notice; for he loves only a lie, and he never fails to make tools of weak-minded men to carry out his purposes. No man of sound mind and of a spiritual nature page 184 would ever lend his name and influence to such a heinous scheme; and I am quite sure you will continue to hold the love and respect of all right-minded brethren.
In my opinion there is more spiritual power in the reading of any one volume of the M. DAWN, to draw men to the proper study of the Scriptures (and thus, through the grace of God, to accept salvation through the ransom), than hearing one thousand sermons, let them be ever so spiritual and well studied – because what the ear receives the mind often fails to retain; but that which enters the eye is almost always permanently photographed in the chambers of the brain and thus is continually rerising before the mental vision. Such has been my own experience.
Assuring you of the deepest love and gratitude for benefits personally received, I remain, dear brother and sister, Yours in the blessed hope,
P.S. How true is the Scripture word photograph: Man that is born of woman is naturally conceived in sin and shapen in iniquity. He is not righteous. His mind is enmity against God. The imagination of the thoughts of his heart (from his youth upwards) is evil and deceitful above all things. He neither understandeth nor seeketh after God, but out of his heart proceedeth evil thoughts, murders and all kinds of iniquity. He is blinded by Satan. His mouth is full of cursing and bitterness. The poison of asps is under his lips. His lips are like a burning fire. His tongue is a sharp sword, and his teeth are spears and arrows. He stretcheth out his hand against God. He conceiveth mischief, and bringeth forth vanity and falsehood; and if he repenteth not, his foot shall slide in due time; for the days of his calamities are near. – Job 14:1; Rom. 3:10; 8:7; Gen. 6:5; 8:21; Rom. 3:11; Matt. 15:19; 2 Cor. 4:4; Rom. 3:13,14; Prov. 16:27; Psa. 51:4,5; Job 15:25; Psa. 7:14; Deut. 32:35.
DEAR BROTHER: – I received TOWER Extra last night, and also the circular letter and paper from the opposers. I did not for a moment entertain a thought but that you could show their evil designs. To the true Church you are esteemed as a true brother and servant of the Truth as never before.
The work, as I understand it, is to find the "wheat" class, and with the present Truth intellectually seal them and thus separate them from Babylon. In doing this, many DAWNS are sold to others who may not now appreciate them, but who thus assist in bearing the expense of the laborers; and they will be read by and by. I lecture some and quite acceptably, but have no ambition to make that a special work.
Yours in the one hope,
DEAR BROTHER AND SISTER RUSSELL: – I write briefly, just to express my deep sympathy with you in reference to the severe trial through which you have been passing. We, as a little company of the Church, have been praying for you, and will pray that God will keep you faithful through it all. This trial is especially hard, because it comes through "chosen" ones. Our Lord, agonizing in the garden, looking to the cross, and sweating, as it were, great drops of blood, received so little sympathy from even the disciples that they could sleep; and after all Paul's faithful ministry to the Churches in Asia, he wrote "all they that are in Asia are turned away from me." Please read 2 Tim. 4:10,14. The trouble referred to seems to have existed at the close of Paul's ministry; and yet he writes with bold confidence. (Verses 6,8; Rev. 3:21.) We are engaged in the conflict now, surely; but the prize is yonder!
I read the letters of the four conspirators before TOWER "Extra" came, and was able to read their condemnation between the lines so completely that if you had never written a word in defense I could not have condemned you. The charges as to your being a pope, and other action in the matter, show all the more clearly the necessity for a firm stand on your part. The TOWER is your ministry, and may God bless you and it more and more.
Yours in our dear Redeemer,
DEAR BROTHER AND SISTER RUSSELL: – Yesterday I received the extra number of TOWER, and I can assure you I was both grieved and pained to find that their had been divisions in the body of Christ. Knowing as I do that you were continually sending out so many sound Bible truths, and every word breathed in the spirit of love and humility, I have sometimes thought that your fears as to a falling away were groundless; but, since reading A Conspiracy page 185 Exposed, I have had to change my mind, and I now see clearly how Satan will assault the strongholds of present truth. But I cannot understand how any brother having a spark of honesty in his heart, or professing to have the love of Christ in his heart, could plot and endeavor for two whole years to injure a fellow worker for the Master. I have seen plenty of that kind of work amongst members of the nominal Church, but I did not expect it among the readers of DAWN and TOWER. Dear brother and sister, I feel deeply for your trouble, and tender you and your household my sincere love and sympathy; and my prayers are and will be that the dear Master will give you needed strength to overcome your enemies. I have no doubt that the injury intended for you will recoil with double force on themselves; and I firmly believe that God in his love will raise up ten friends and co-workers to one that has proved false.
Again thanking you and dear Sister Russell for the joy I have experienced at your hands in being fed with meat in due season, and having perfect confidence in your love and honesty in the Master's service,
I remain, your brother in Christ,
BROTHER AND SISTER RUSSELL: – In the name of the Lord Christ, I greet you. "They departed from the presence of the council rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name." "And they shall walk with me in white, for they are worthy."
I have spent the afternoon carefully reading the "Conspiracy" number of TOWER, which I received this morning; and although I am so little acquainted with you and those of "like faith," and only partially see eye to eye with you, yet I have a heart fellowship far beyond the brain conception of the now due Truth, as you see it. [This brother has been acquainted with DAWNS for only four months.]
I thought it best, at first, to write some words of sympathy to you in what I know must be to you both a great trial; but after considering the matter from the true overcomer's point of view, I have decided that instead of sympathy you should have congratulations. No, I will not weep with you over this, but rather rejoice. Why not? If God has seen fit to open your eyes to the real character of those brethren (?), you certainly ought to praise the Lord, as no doubt Gideon did to see his army diminish. I am very, very sorry for those whom Satan has blinded to become his tools in this matter, and I pray God they may be led to judge themselves, that they may not be judged. Numbers do not count with God; and, my Brother and Sister, I am quite sure that those children of God – followers of Christ – who determine to stand true to the Truth as the Spirit reveals it to them will certainly suffer much and walk very much alone – alone with him. Every honest Christian who is interested in the truth will suffer with you in this trial.
May God bless you both and all the tried of God. Your brother in Christ,
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: – Have received and read A Conspiracy Exposed. I consider it a complete refutation of all the malicious charges brought against you; but I was just as well satisfied concerning your innocence two weeks ago as I am now. Notwithstanding the fact, I was very glad to receive the pamphlet. Surely, "no weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper." We believe that all who love the truth will be unmoved by Satan's "devices." Am still pressing on. There is much to overcome. Pray for me. Am doing what I am able to support and spread the truth.
Yours in our Redeemer,
MY DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: – ZION'S WATCH TOWER, Extra was taken from the P.O. at sundown last night, and we did not leave it until we had found that every charge made by Rogers, Zech, et. al., had been entirely refuted, and yourself completely vindicated. For this outcome we feel to praise the Lord with full hearts, and at the same time extend to yourself and Sister R. our earnest sympathy and sincere congratulations.
At first we were dumbfounded almost beyond expression – not that we believed any real offence could be laid to your charge, but that such a conspiracy could rise up against you from such an unforeseen source – from men who had been at the very front of the colporteur work, and (supposedly) your bosom friends. To us who had so recently come into the company of the "little flock," it seemed almost beyond comprehension that such a thing could occur. But we were not moved from the steadfastness of our purpose, or from our love and perfect confidence in you. Too long and too page 186 often have we seen the venomous fangs of the evil-one striking at the very heart and citadel of the Church of God, not to know something of the fatal blow, that, if possible, would strike you down in the very hour of certain victory.
What the purpose of these men was we may not fully know; but of the purpose and real interest of the arch-fiend of death we certainly cannot be ignorant. He knows that his time is short and that what he does must be done quickly. No instrument is too sacred for him to use, so he may accomplish his foul designs upon the little fold of selected ones. The surprising thing is that those who had been in the very front of the battle should become the shafts in the hands of him who is the chief instigator of all the sin and venom in the world. God pity them! would that they could go out, Peter-like, weeping the bitter tears of repentance and self-abnegation, till God could give them a new heart and a new life. My heart is grieved that such a sin could be found at the door of any who had come into the wonderful truth of God's Word, as made so plain in the Plan of the Ages; and after such protestations of love and loyalty, not to say of consecration. We cannot account for it, my dear brother, except to use your own words and say Satan must be the chief schemer in the whole plot.
Thorns and thistles, sorrow and pain, temptation and trial, are the inevitable results of a life of consecration to such a service as yours and ours. But we have respect to the recompense of reward. God will not leave us comfortless, and his grace will be sufficient. "Thou shalt run and not be weary; thou shalt walk and not be faint, for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength." "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee," is the sure promise of the Eternal Lord. "Great peace have they that love thy law, and nothing shall offend them," or become a stumbling block to those who are walking as the redeemed of the Lord – and as the smoke of battle is clearing away, how important that we begin anew to feed the bread of life to the hungering multitudes, and preach, everywhere, the undying love of Jesus to save a dying and helpless race. How rich, how full, how complete is the corresponding-ransom-price! Oh! how we need to hasten, in these, the last hours of our glorious privilege, to gather all the golden sheaves into the garner-house of God. Soon the night will come wherein none can work.
If some are going from us, others are coming into this beautiful light and glorious privilege. Two ladies, formerly Catholics, were at our prayer-meeting last Wednesday evening. Their hearts are full of joy at this new-found truth. Our room was full to-day of anxious students of the Word, some old soldiers of the cross, some young men, but all seemingly in earnest to find the pearl of great price. Bro. Owen gave us a fine lesson on the two Covenants; and while a sorrow was brooding over us, yet a great joy was welling up from our hearts that so few had gone away, and there were so many faithful hearts. We need not ask that God will bless you. He will bless you and the little tender flock who have grown up around you, willing, if need be, to give their lives in your behalf. To yourself, Sister Russell and all the lowly ones, we send our earnest greetings in the Anointed One.
Very truly your brother,
DEAR BROTHER AND SISTER RUSSELL: – I have read with mingled feelings of sorrow and joy your noble defense. Glad that you were so able to acquit yourselves of all blame, and sorry that you should be so sorely tried. Surely the devil has come down unto us having great wrath, because he knows that he has but a short time. I was also much pleased with the review of the history of the TOWER, back to the time of the Herald of the Morning; for I was a reader of it. From the days of Wm. Miller I have been deeply interested in the subjects of which the DAWNS and TOWER treat, with a steadily increasing interest; and I am thoroughly convinced that they teach the truth. I have received much comfort and instruction from them, for I have invariably compared them with the Scriptures and have not found them wanting. I heard Mr. Miller lecture in 1842, and read his book, but could not receive his conclusions, for the reason that our Savior said that the Gospel of the Kingdom should be preached in all the world – to all nations – before the end could come; and I felt sure that was not then done; but he taught much truth. For you I have often prayed, that God would keep you from error. I send enclosed the balance on Good Hopes for this year. May send more before the year is out.
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL: – I am glad I wrote to you last Friday, before I received your answer to the circulars sent out by the four former co-workers, because it is evidence that our confidence in you had remained unshaken; but now, after having read your defense, I rejoice to see how plainly and satisfactorily you answer page 187 your accusers. I am sure that this affair will make all of us here love you the more. How I hope and pray that we may not be sifted through the sieve!
Yours in love and sympathy,
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL: – The Extra Z.W.T. reached me safely. After a careful reading of the whole book, I would say that I can find no fault in you at all. Dear Brother, we all, I hope, know you too well to believe such false reports. I have been with you in this precious faith while you were with the Herald of the Morning, and ever since the first issue of the TOWER; and I know I could not be convinced now to turn against you, or even to sympathize with those who have turned against you. My prayer is, that the dear Lord may give you strength and courage to overcome all evil, and keep you faithful.
Yours in Christian love,
When we first received the "Big 4" circular, I must confess – as one brother expressed it to-day – I was just simply paralyzed. For several days I could scarcely think of anything else; and while we did not forget the fact that there were two sides to the matter, and that we had heard but one side, we could not help thinking that "where there is so much smoke, there must be some fire." But it seems now that the smoke was caused by friction – the result of having a misplaced crank among the otherwise smooth-running machinery.
I am satisfied that the libel sent out will do no harm here, and think I can safely pledge you the confidence, fidelity and unshaken devotion of the whole Church at Indianapolis, without a single exception. Sister Owen desires me to emphasize the fact that she is in full harmony with the spirit of this letter.
With Christian love, I am, as ever, your brother in Christ,
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL: – You may think I have forgotten you, because I have not written for so long a time, but this is not so. I have been thinking a great deal about you and Sister Russell in view of the severe trial. When, about four weeks ago, one of those libelous circulars came to my attention, I was greatly shocked, and did not know at first what step to take. I could hardly believe that four of the oldest (and should have been the firmest established) brethren (?) could get up such a slander as that, so I determined to investigate thoroughly both sides of the question, and asked the Lord for strength and light. This is the reason I have not written to you before.
As you know, Mr. Rogers has stopped at Rochester, Buffalo, and about all the places along the Hudson, where there are brethren, and tried to convert them to his idea; but I am glad to announce that he had very little success. I heard him say things I never expected to hear from him. Among other things he said that the Lord never revealed anything to Brother Russell, and he did not think the Lord would ever use him (Brother Russell) again. He said that he would go to New York (which he did), and try to have a meeting there; and that if possible he would get Mr. Zech to come and take part in it. (He sent a telegram to Mr. Zech to that effect.) So I went to New York last Saturday evening, and was gladly surprised not to find Mr. Zech there, but to hear that Sister Russell would be there Sunday. We all had a very blessed day of it. In the evening we gathered at Bro. Mott's house. For the opening we sang "Blest be the tie that binds" – which I have never before heard sung with such a spirit of oneness and love.
I have now heard enough of both sides to convince me fully that all these charges brought up against you are without the slightest foundation; and can see that you have treated these conspirators very gently, notwithstanding the unchristian attitude they have assumed toward you. With much love,
Yours in our Redeemer,
DEAR BRO. AND SISTER RUSSELL: – Words fail me to express fully my deep love and sympathy to you both. I want to assure you of my continued purpose with you in the forwarding of the work over which I believe the Lord has made you overseer. So I want to sustain you by my love and sympathy and co-operation, as well as by my prayers, and to give you every reason to believe that I am your brother.
Happily I received the Extra TOWER to-day. I was so surprised and interested that I could not stop until I had read it through. At night, when I went home, to my surprise I page 188 found the enclosed postal-card from one of the very conspirators, Elmer Bryan, wanting to get the names of the saints here. I at once understood his purpose.
Your ever faithful brother,
DEAR BRO. AND SISTER RUSSELL: – I take this opportunity of sending you a few words of encouragement and sympathy. Although I am not known to you by face, I trust we are of the same spirit. When I read your article, "Lest Ye Enter Into Temptation," and then your remarks upon it in next TOWER, I knew something was amiss; but I did not find what it was until I received the Extra Edition of TOWER a few days ago. As you express fears for those just receiving the truth, I think it but just to you to let you know that I for one pay no attention to such reports. I received the truth through reading DAWN, and can testify that like the two disciples that went to Emmaus – "my heart did burn within me" while I was reading; and I have always thanked God that he led me to the work. So while I am but a babe in Christ I know that such trials as you have passed through are common to all the faithful truth-givers. Let us trust that your trials will work for you "a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory."
Your sister in Christ,
DEAR BRO. AND SISTER RUSSELL: – Many thanks for the Extra number of ZION'S WATCH TOWER. Have read the same with much interest (though sadly). When we read in the TOWER of this iniquitous plan we guessed correctly some of the unsteady and unbalanced minds that have turned from a good cause to a very bad one. When that quartet of trumpeters prepared to give their blasts, did they expect to see the walls of Zion tumble? It seems they are like men spitting against the wind: it has turned back with terrible force into their own faces.
You will remember a few months ago, I wrote to know what the expense would be for you to come to our place. You replied that you could not come, but that you had sent the letter to J. B. Adamson; and he afterward wrote me stating his demands for himself and wife. Though I have not the letter now, I remember he wrote these words, That I would probably feel disappointed to hear of his offer instead of yours, because "Bro. Russell is not only a superior writer, but one of the greatest preachers on earth." Why he should so change his mind is strange to me. Yet this same thing has been repeated before. "They went out from us, because they were not of us." The body of Christ must be Christlike, or it can never reign over the world. Therefore none with such characters will appear in the Kingdom of God as rulers. May God keep you pure unto his Kingdom!
Yours as ever,
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL: – We received the special issue of Z.W.T. yesterday morning, and have perused its contents with deepest interest. I hasten to make known to you and Sr. R. our conclusions, in the way of encouraging you.
As we surmised, you have had no trouble in showing, to all unprejudiced minds, that all accusations brought against you are false. It seems strange that sensible men would even attempt to weave a net out of such flimsy material as has been used in all of the charges that have been set forth by your four assailants, in whom we have hitherto placed such implicit confidence. Then, too, it is strange that those whom you have befriended in so many ways and for so long a time should, at the very time they were engaged in spreading the truth that should separate the wheat from the tares, be engaged in concocting such diabolical schemes against an acknowledged friend in the harvest work, to try to break down his character, and influence, and thus hinder the cause of Christ. And another strange thing connected with this matter is, that they should expect us to believe such unreasonable things.
Now, dear Bro. Russell, Sister H__________and I can testify that after reading both sides, we have suffered and sympathized with both you and Sister Russell in this severe trial. The "bombs" have not, however, accomplished what they were designed to do; nor will they. The truth is mighty and will prevail. God's work cannot be stopped by any power. The Lord will provide a way of escape for all the consecrated, who are faithful, from all their page 189 trials, if they are rightly exercised by them.
What hurts us most is that those whom we esteemed so highly heretofore have turned upon you that God has used so largely to make plain his great plan of the ages. But as all of their charges are so unreasonable, and you have proven them false, we can no longer consider them worthy of the cause, or of the name of brethren.
As ever, your brother in hope,
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL: – I feel like striving to do anything I can for the sake of Christ Jesus; and anything I can do to hold up your hands, in advising and strengthening the younger brethren will make me glad. Never did anything shock me as much as your late trials and not only yours alone, but the whole Church's.
Surely Satan is making great efforts to deceive if possible the very elect. I see that nothing unclean can enter the Kingdom. Paul saw it in his day; for though he preached this gospel to others he realized that he himself might, through unfaithfulness, be a castaway. Who shall be able to stand in this evil day? Oh! that I may be able to stand firm upon the rock, Christ Jesus, that my will, my life, and all that I am, may be fully immersed into his will, is the humble prayer of your brother in the harvest work,
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL: – Sympathizing with you in the trial and persecution which have been permitted to come upon you, I feel it my duty as a member of the body, to send you a few lines, saying that you have the sympathy, love and hearty, sincere approval of the whole Church at Newburgh; for if one faithful, true member of the body suffer, all like true members sympathize with that one.
An evil spirit causes contentions, envy, strife, and evil suspicion, wrangling of men. They may think that they are brethren in Christ, but are deceived by Satan; for the Scriptures say if they do not restrain their tongue, they delude their own hearts, and their religion is vain. But to the pure all things are pure. The brother who is true to his consecration vows is pure in heart; loves the whole body of Christ; suffers long and is kind; does not envy his brother; is not boastful nor puffed up; does not act unbecomingly; and does not impute evil; but he rejoices in the truth, covers all things, and endures all things for the body's sake, which is the Church. What a wide difference between these two descriptions!
From the position these men held, they hoped to destroy the whole body; but there is a mighty super-human power over God's little ones: they are chosen, "Elect according to the foreknowledge of God, through sanctification of the spirit and belief of the truth." What weapon formed against them can prosper? Will not all things work together for good to them that love God? He is testing and sifting the wheat. Let the good work go on. He knows his own. He has set his seal on them.
I have no doubt but that this will try the Church intensely; but the faithful and true will cling more closely together. Even now I feel a more tender and close knitting together in love towards the true ones of the household of faith, and towards the tried and persecuted. Your brother in Christ,
DEAR BROTHER: – I hereby tender you my hearty sympathy. Your exposition was the first intimation I had of the painful subject. I believe you are an earnest worker for the truth, for how could God reveal to a very sinful person (as they are trying to make you out to be) his plans? He surely would employ cleaner hearts and hands.
Before I reached that part of the Extra where you exhort all to a deeper interest in the truth, I had resolved to do more for the truth than I have been doing. While I believe that the truth will be spread without my assistance, I feel as though I ought to do part of it. I enclose a check. Please send DAWNS, Tracts, etc.
DEAR BROTHER: – I received your pamphlet to-day. After reading it, I was not a little disgusted at the conduct of the parties that compose the unhallowed confederation. There is no telling what ambition will do. I have been a constant reader of M.D. and Z.W.T. for nearly eight years, being strongly imbued with the faith. Yet only twice was I permitted to meet with the Church at Allegheny. In those several meetings, lasting impressions were made on my mind. Some of these impressions I kept to myself. Being a reader of character, and known as such among many people, it was natural for me, without special effort, to note the peculiarities of many; and I mused on the out-come in the testing time.
In my own estimation, I always feel the least among God's humble servants – otherwise I page 190 would have troubled you more with scribblings; but I thank God for humility. How the conspirators can claim consecration to the truth, I am at a loss to know – especially when we consider the charges are preferred on pecuniary matters, self-interest, &c., at the sacrifice of the truth, and obedience to the same. [See 1 Sam. 9:21; 15:17-23. – EDITOR.]
But whether we are drenched with refreshing showers, or burned by the fires, let us be steadfast in the faith to the end; for both are necessary to the development of the man in Christ.
DEAR BRO. AND SISTER RUSSELL: – Enclosed find my "Good Hopes" for first quarter. I am sorry to have been so late in sending it to you; and in view of the "bomb," I am more sorry that I am unable to remit an equivalent in money of the confidence I have in you both. I wish to say that I have heartily approved of all that has appeared in WATCH TOWER since I have been a subscriber, and especially "The Responsibility of Liberty" and "The Work in England."
Brother Russell's answers to the charges of the conspirators are satisfactory, and I am sorry that I cannot find words to express to you my exact feelings. I am glad, however, that you do not require words of sympathy from me; for I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. – Rom. 8:18.
Joined by Sister Taylor in Christian love to you both, and hoping that you may be spared to labor for the Master until the end of the harvest, I remain, Yours in our Redeemer,
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL: – I am glad, so glad, that your character has been vindicated. To say that I have been anxious would be putting it very mildly; and now I hope we will have sunshine for a while. I could not more than half work for the last two weeks.
I drop you this line hastily to say that you have my deepest sympathy, as well as my constant prayer. It all looks to me so plain that it is only the necessary "sifting," and that you will come out of it triumphant. God sees, understands, leads and loves.
In Christian love,
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL: – Your exposition of the "conspiracy" came duly to hand. I am not surprised at the course of those men. We are now in the days of sifting and all that are not right at heart will fall. I hope you are not troubled about it. Your works speak for themselves. No man can do the work you are doing, unless God be with him.
Yours in the faith,
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL: – "Extra" just received, and read with keenness and interest, urged on by a desire to see this trouble cleared up; and, praise the Lord, it is done. Well, dear Brother, you have come through without a scratch, and how thankful I am is beyond my power to express. You can hardly realize how these two weeks have been weeks of suspense and fears lest you would fail to vindicate yourself. I wondered what would become of the cause I so dearly love and what would become of all our efforts. I had faith in all these four men, since they all had been in the work longer than I; and you also seemed to give them so much credence and honor. I naturally supposed they were telling the truth in this case; yet I had my doubts in this, and hoped and prayed you would vindicate yourself. And so you have. I can now go forth feeling stronger for the trial and more determined to spread the truth against all opposition.
I hope your explanation will be received by the brethren in general, but of course some will fall. The Lord's will be done; but let us go on fully trusting in his strength and power to carry his work to the finish.
Yours in fellowship in Christ,
DEAR BRO. AND SISTER RUSSELL: – I have just received and read A Conspiracy Exposed, and feel much grieved at the trouble you have page 191 been called upon to pass through, and also to find that those we esteemed faithful brethren "walk no more with us."
I am sure you feel anxious to know the effect these things will have on each one of the "household of faith." The first intimation of the trouble I received from the TOWER; and with all the evidence before me, as laid down in the Extra, it is not difficult to judge who is on the wrong side. I rejoice with you that most of the dear brethren and sisters there in Allegheny stand firm, and it did me good to read the noble letters of others who are scattered in other parts.
As to the present method of circulating the truth, I can say that I am more thankful every day that while engaged in the harvest work, we are enabled to "eat our own bread in quietness" and also to have something to give to those in need. I trust that the dear Lord will not permit any who remain faithful to become discouraged or unsettled in purpose.
Yours in Him,
Yours in Christian love,
At the Church at my house yesterday, I learned that, as stated in my last letter, none of the brethren except myself and Brother Williams had received the libelous and slanderous circular sent out by Zech, Bryan, et al. To read this miserable stuff made me very sad, and I refused to believe that the charges preferred against you were true. I felt confident that you had been shamefully and outrageously misrepresented.
Your reply has more than satisfied us. It is indeed a full and complete vindication of your character, and one which will redound to the glory and honor of God, and to the shame and dishonor of those who sought to "murder your character."
The May TOWER came to hand, and was read with much interest. It is a good number. In fact, all the issues of the TOWER are good. In excluding the articles of vain-glorious and ambitious men, who are eager to have their names appear in print, you have followed a wise and just course, and one that the brethren here fully approve.
Your suggestions under the title, "Fervent in spirit, serving the Lord," are timely, and I trust many will avail themselves of the privilege of engaging in this work. It has been a great blessing to both Brother Williams and myself to be engaged in it, and we feel much encouraged to know that some good is being accomplished. Mr. Pippen reports the sale of a dozen copies of M. DAWN since we commenced distributing tracts on Sundays, and of course we have no means of knowing how many have been or may be ordered direct from Allegheny.
Your sincere friend and brother in Christ,
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL: – It is with mingled feelings of joy and sorrow that I write you: joy to know that you have so grandly cleared your character against the late conspiracy (we thank God that he has brought forth your righteousness as the light): sorrow to hear of any falling away from the truth.
And while you have had such a terrible struggle with the enemy, we here have not been left alone. Brother Turnbull, who, it appears, so largely influenced Mr. Rogers, is still here, and with some of his friends has been attending our meetings. In a very subtle way, and at every opportunity for conversation with our little company, they have been trying to prove that death to the consecrated is a thing of the past; that now they are actually passed out of death into life; and that if they are faithful they will be changed from glory to glory until like Christ. It is a smattering of evolution with other truths and errors. This is brought in subtly to win the flock; and at present I cannot say how many it will injure. page 192
I have felt it necessary to show plainly to the brethren here, that if such were the facts the consecrated are no longer consecrated unto death, but to the gaining of life; and that this would be turning our backs upon the covenant we made, – symbolized by baptism – planted in the likeness of Christ's death, in hope that we might bye and bye reign with him. When Mr. Rogers left us, he desired that this Brother Turnbull should lead our meeting.
[This was a very unwise arrangement; for whatever natural qualifications for leadership Bro. T. may have, as a "babe" of only two weeks' acquaintance with the Truth he was certainly not well qualified to act as leader of a class whose members have been DAWN and TOWER readers for years. – EDITOR.]
With this error already in our camp, the letter of the four conspirators came like a heavy cloud upon some here, although I could not believe the charges. We have been passing through a searching time, such as I never before experienced; and, like all trials, it has caused me to look to my Father for the wisdom and guidance necessary. We have learned something of what it is to suffer with Christ.
Yours in love and service of the truth,
We feel indeed that we have past another "mile post," thereby gathering fresh courage to continue in the way, giving thanks with joy that we are not cut off as unfruitful branches. Though many prove unfaithful, yet shortly the beautiful Church will be complete, "without spot or wrinkle or any such thing."
I have met all of the interested ones here since, and find that none are stumbled; and I think I can say the same for all in Manitoba. I have heard from some by letter, whom, though separated from others of like faith, the Lord has preserved and strengthened in their time of need.
May the favor of God continue with you and with us all. Your brother in Christ,
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL: – After an absence of six weeks I am home again. In my bunch of mail I found several surprises, one of which, Elmer Bryan's letter, I will mail to you. As you see, I could not answer it in time to suit his purpose, though I could only have repeated Mr. Dubbs' business name for him, "skunk." My next surprise was that I did not find several numbers of the WATCH TOWER that I expected to be waiting for me. Could you have taken me for one of the conspirators (heaven forbid) and stopped it? I hope not. Next I found the Extra, which I have carefully read; and I am glad to see how nobly you have defended yourself.
Hoping this may find you all well, and that the Master may still bless you all more and more. As ever, Yours in the Lord. [See Extra page 51.]
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL: – I have carefully read your expose and defence, and must say I esteem you more highly, if possible, than before. In reading the manifesto of the four, it is plainly to be seen from the spirit pervading it that their object was to destroy and not to build up. On the other hand, your expose of the conspiracy is written in a different spirit and seems calculated to defend the truth and to shield the weak ones from danger of stumbling, and shows a spirit or desire to suffer personally rather than give offence; yet for the truth's sake, and for the sake of the flock that is looking to you for guidance, you have nobly given a personal account of even some of your private matters for the benefit of the brethren. Surely none of the meek ones will stumble over the very paltry charges of the dissatisfied ones, which have been so signally exploded!
Dear Brother, this only shows what manner of persons we ought to be. The adversary would not attack one of the feeble ones in such a manner, but the leaders must be on the alert for him at every turn. Had you been careless at any point, so that you could not have fully met every dart, then Satan would have scored a victory, and your usefulness would have been impaired. Clean hands and a clear conscience are a noble defense, and rout the enemy every time. Our God will not defend the unrighteous, but the humble and obedient servant he will sustain. May this attack of the adversary bring us all nearer together and nearer the Master, and eventually redound to the glory of God. May the erring ones see the folly of their course, return to the narrow path, humbly confess to God their weakness and fall, and seek to be re-instated in the household of faith. page 193
It means something to be a leader in divine things. It is not all praise and joyfulness, but often comes the test when the leader must throw himself in front of the flock and meet the enemy single-handed and alone; but if he go out like David of old, trusting in the living God, he will kill the Goliath and save the flock; but if there be any Babylonish garment or wedge of gold in his defense, he will be discomfited before his enemies. A leadership is a deserving prize, but it should rather be thrust upon one than sought after; for it carries with it a great responsibility, and only if faithfully performed does it reap a rich reward.
May you live near to the Master, may you and yours prosper in the service of the Lord, and may the cause of our God be greatly advanced. May we all strive to come to the unity of the Spirit and the bond of perfectness, and may God use us all in some way to his glory and our eternal welfare.
Your brother in Christ,
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL: – I do not believe those false brethren will be able to do you any real harm, nor the cause either; and the latter is about all you are really much concerned about. I would pay as little attention to them as possible, and go on with the work of feeding the flock to which, I doubt not, you are divinely called.
I see some good results from this trouble. Heady, envious, ambitious colleagues are no elements of strength; and the Lord's servants can better do his work without such. How any one can think of self in this most glorious work passes my comprehension. I am so glad to be allowed to serve in any capacity.
We have some excellent and important articles from your pen, as "The Relative Claims of Love and Justice," "The Twelve Apostles," "Man and Woman in God's Order," etc., which we might not have received had not your mind been so stirred up. And, now, "Harvest Siftings" is of great value to me. I believe it would be well to send that Extra to every one of your readers. I have often wished to know how you came to write DAWN, etc., – especially how you came by your interpretation of Tabernacle Shadows; and now I am satisfied. I am so glad you do not deal in trances, visions and the like.
"Harvest Siftings" calls our attention to the importance of holding to the ransom, as scarcely anything else could, and gives most impressive warning to each to take heed lest he fall. This is an opportunity for your friends to testify their affection and sympathy. I believe you will be surprised to learn how many warm, steadfast friends you have. I presume there are hundreds who, like myself, never saw you, but who love and esteem you highly for your works' sake.
The present editorial management of the TOWER suits me exactly. I am very glad you do not permit it to be filled with miscellaneous essays. Expositions of Bible truth, especially present truth as relates to present duties and privileges, are food to my soul, and helpful, as no essays on general subjects or mere exhortations could be. Do not take valuable time answering this letter. We are hungry for DAWN, VOL. IV., and the regular issues of the TOWER.
With much love for all the dear flock, I remain, Yours truly,
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL: – Until I saw the TOWER extra I was unaware that a plan had been concocted to injure you and the cause of truth. I had not dreamed that such a trouble was brewing in the camp; and while I know that such a thing is possible, I did not expect it from that source. My heart was indeed sorrowful when I read the first few pages, because I feared it was something that would break us asunder, and thus destroy the source whence came to me so much joy and peace in the Lord Jesus, through the past eleven years of my life. I feared that the TOWER would cease to visit me. No paper on earth do I prize more highly; for it has done more for me than any other paper could do. Its utterances are so nearly like those of the Master that I have noticed the re-readings seemed as fresh as the first. I have for years anticipated its arrival as I would that of a friend; for verily I regard it as a message from him who sticks closer than a brother. It has wielded a most wonderful influence upon my life. I remember vividly how, when I was drifting into sin, though under the nurture of orthodoxy, I was lifted and borne away by its sweet influence and encouraged to live a better life. And yet all the while I never once believed the editor popish or infallible or dishonest in any particular. Neither do I believe it now.
I am glad to see the staunch and Christlike stand you take in defending yourself and the truth. Long may you and Sister R. live to lead and encourage us, that we may be kept in the path for the crown!
Yours in Christian sympathy,
DEAR BRO. AND SISTER RUSSELL: – The special issue of the TOWER and your welcome letter duly received. Thanks for both. The TOWER confirmed us in our judgment of the trouble and its cause, not only by the spirit manifested, but also by your statements relative to the charges and also the judgment of the brethren.
The effect on our little Church here has been very good, as it has resulted in a self-examination and a drawing closer to Jesus and the glorious saints and to the "remaining members" such as we never before experienced. Our subject this morning was "The Oneness of the Body;" and it was a blessed subject, with all of Paul's wonderful epistles from which to draw.
I am sure we all feel a more earnest desire to be found doing our own individual work, as the Spirit is divided to us. The contrasts of Phil. 2:5-11 and Isa. 14:12-20 are so strong and so obvious that the most humble follower cannot mistake the difference between Christ and Satan, and the spirits of each. The more we see of the spirit of those who went out, the less it seems like that of Christ, and the more like that of Satan.
Sister Bell joins me in Christian love and greetings to you both and those associated with you. Yours in love for Him,
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL: – The extra edition received: "How are the mighty fallen!" I am inclined to be more diligent in the service. No one knows what turn they will take now. May we be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord. We have the promise that his grace will be sufficient for us.
We believe that good will come out of it, though we regret that you should have suffered, as must have been the case, to be thus treacherously assaulted by those that had been brought by your kindness and indulgence, and even expenditure of money, to such a position as to make it possible.
All but one (and he a German) in our circle in the three Falls Cities, accept your full explanation as satisfactory. Your brother in the Lord,
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL: – I wish to write just a few lines to you in regard to the charges lately brought against you (a circular was sent me) and your answer to them. I am glad to say that, instead of injuring your character, they have made it shine brighter than ever. It seems to me that we all have great reason to be thankful to our Heavenly Father for his loving protection in time of such trials. May the Lord sanctify it all to our good. The Lord will not suffer one of his faithful ones to be moved. Though the storms rage and beat all around us, we feel secure, because the foundation is sure and steadfast.
May the Lord continue to be your comforter and use you yet more and more as a faithful worker in Zion. I assure you that you still have the love and confidence of myself and wife. Your friend and brother in Christ,
DEAR BRO. AND SISTER RUSSELL: – A Conspiracy Exposed to hand. After a careful review of its contents, we cannot find words to express the deep sense of our sympathy for you and Sister R. Permit us to express our sincere approval of the resolutions which were unanimously adopted by the Church of Christ in Allegheny. Be encouraged and comforted by Paul's admonition to Timothy. (2 Tim. 4:1,2,5,18.) The Lord knows his own, and we are confident that sincere prayer and supplication will be made to the God of all grace for you and all the faithful co-workers, by those who hear the Master's voice.
Yours in truth,
DEAR BRO. AND SISTER RUSSELL: – We, the undersigned readers and believers in the doctrines of Jesus Christ as promulgated by you through the M. DAWN, and all other matter from your pen, sympathize with you in your present trouble, and will do all in our power page 195 to counteract any and all issues taken against you, knowing that by so doing we are upholding the cause of Christ. Hoping that you may come through as did our Head and Master, we remain, Your brethren in Christ,
DEAR BRO. AND SISTER RUSSELL: – I have been waiting anxiously for the first of May number of the TOWER, in which I looked for an explanation of the troubles alluded to in former numbers. In my painful suspense I feared that some great calamity was impending over the little flock, that might scatter them as sheep without a shepherd. Imagine, therefore, my joy, when the Extra came, explaining the many frivolous charges that had almost frightened us into trembling. I had expected that the great enemy of truth would ere long give us a master-piece of his ingenuity in opposing the Prince and his Kingdom. With his more than four thousand years of experience in fighting against the truth, we had reason to expect something more fearful than a war of words. When the great battle of the Lord Almighty is impending over the world, this little skirmish with spys only warns us to put on the whole armor our commander has furnished us, and listen for his commands and watch for his signals.
"'Hold the fort! for I am present,'
Jesus signals still."
Wave the answer back to him,
'By thy grace we will!'"
I often think of an expression I heard long ago. If God is with us and we are only one, we are a majority of the universe; and Jesus has said, Where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst.
I will stop far, very far, short of what I would like to say of my own experience, suggested by your experience, as given in the Extra, in the beginning and gradual development of present truth. That itself is worth more to us than all the cost and trouble to you to bring it out; but I forbear. I pray the Lord to "preserve your souls from death, your eyes from tears and your feet from falling." Yours affectionately in Him whom we love and serve,
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL: – As brethren and sisters in Christ, our hearts have been touched with sympathy toward you, in the trying ordeal through which you have passed during the past few weeks. None other evil is greater than that of fellowshiping false brethren. God has blessed and sustained you, and has greatly blessed us individually, through your works. As a token of respect, and confidence to you, we attest our names, and enclose a small amount taken as a collection on May 13th, at our regular meeting, to be devoted by you in furtherance of the cause of Christ and his truth. Yours in Christian fellowship,
DEAR BRO. AND SISTER RUSSELL: – We write, expressing our deep sympathy for you in the severe trial through which you have been, and are passing. In the words of the poet, "Our prayers and tears are all with thee." We are so glad to know, however, that through it all the Lord has been with you, cheering and comforting, blessing and supporting; and our most earnest prayer is that he may continue to do so. Truly, you need much of the grace of God to enable you to manifest the Christ-spirit in dealing with those who seem to be to such an extent under the influence of the spirit of Satan.
You will be glad to know that so far from this having a detrimental effect upon the interested ones here, it appears to have been used in the opposite way; and several testify that the little book, sad and grievous as it is, has been a real blessing to them.
And now, feeling assured that you can say with the Apostle (Acts 20:24), "None of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry which I have received of the Lord Jesus to testify the gospel of the grace of God," we remain,
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL: – I received A Conspiracy Exposed. I feel so many times since reading it how true is the sentiment contained in the following:
"The flame shall not hurt thee, I only design,
Thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine."
How victorious you have been in this battle!
DEAR BROTHER: – Although I am a stranger to you personally, yet I have been a subscriber to the WATCH TOWER over two years; and now, after reading the April Extra, I am constrained to write this line to wish you a loving God-speed.
I would also like to let you know the peace of mind I am enjoying, amid the troublous page 196 times, based on a faith in God and in his Son Jesus, our Savior, and which has been so greatly increased and fortified through the knowledge of present truths as set forth by you in the M. DAWN series and W. TOWER. Please allow me to express my grateful thanks to you as the honored instrument in the hands of our Master for the good and deep things from his Word therein made plain.
Very sincerely, Your friend in Jesus,
DEAR BRO. AND SISTER RUSSELL: – We, the undersigned, as members of the Church of Christ, of which the Lord Jesus is the Head, desire to communicate to you our heart-felt love and sympathy for you in the work of the Master, who has evidently chosen you as an honored servant to feed the dear sheep and lambs of his fold. Rather than hinder the work, our desire is to hold up your hands, by prayer and supplication for you at the throne of grace. We also further wish to assure you of our continued confidence in you and interest in the cause, which has become so dear, both to your and our hearts.
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL: – Your Extra was the first intimation I had of the trouble or trial to which you have been subjected; but if I had heard the other side first, it would not have changed my judgment of your work nor of you; and I cannot understand how any one, in the face of the evidence of your life and work, could bring forth such charges. Speaking from my own experience, I have received many times my money's worth, from both a worldly and a spiritual standpoint. Your DAWNS were first read about half a year ago; and the whole aspect of life has been changed to a broader, fuller realization of the destiny of man. I could write pages, and then not express one tittle of what I feel since I know that God is so much better than we gave him credit for. I am spreading the glad tidings as I find opportunity.
I write this, thinking it may be some comfort to you to know that your work has not been in vain as regards, Your sincere follower,
DEAR BRO. AND SISTER: – We have received the little book, entitled A Conspiracy Exposed, and to say it was a complete surprise to us would be putting it very mildly indeed. I know that this has been a trying test to you and the Church at Allegheny, as well as some others who are scattered abroad; and we are glad that the Lord did not permit the "bomb" explosion to do its intended work. Our sympathies are with you, first and last; and we trust none of God's children have been turned aside by this latest freak of Satan's ingenuity. Of course, we are troubled and sad after reading of Satan's cunning and boldness in laying so deep a scheme for the overthrow of the little flock, and we are forcibly reminded that "if it were possible" even the elect would be deceived.
Pray for us, dear brother and sister, that we may not fall, and that the way may soon be opened for us to resume our place on the roll of colporteurs, that we may enter more fully into the harvest labors of the Lord. We remember you all in our devotions to the Lord. He will stand by his little ones to the end.
Yours in his name,
BELOVED BRO. AND SISTER RUSSELL: – I was not surprised to hear of the crisis that you had and have from false brethren; for it is written that we will have them; and all these trials are for our good, that we may become more like our Savior and Master. I sympathize with you and wife, and my prayers have been that sustaining grace might be given and victory be yours over these carnal and selfish brethren who fight against the innocent. They will not prosper in their devilish deed, but they will be pointed before the others as Judas that betrayed Jesus is pointed out to this very day. "Fear not," my brother and sister. Go ahead! Satan will not overcome you, no matter how many will rise against you. God knows, and he is on your side, to protect you, to give victory and to strengthen your faith.
I have passed through a similar experience. Without any evil cause I was imprisoned in Turkey and sentenced to be banished to Asia for life in prison. Five hours after the sentence God, the Almighty, delivered me; and three years afterward, in the same place, I freely proclaimed the Gospel. False brethren they were that led to my imprisonment, and they have never had peace since.
God has given us wonderful promises, and they are fulfilling in our daily life, bringing joy page 197 and peace and hope. "Be not afraid of their faces, for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the Lord." "And they shall fight against thee; but they shall not prevail against thee." – Jer. 1:8,17-19.
With fervent love, I am, Yours in hope of life eternal,
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL: – Your exposition of the late conspiracy was duly received. Your straight-forward, honest statement of the facts is enough to convince any unbiased mind of its truthfulness, and, with the added testimony of the other dear friends, is a complete refutation of all the charges against you.
By some of us it was not needed. From the moment I read the infamous circular, not a shadow of doubt crossed my mind but that you could clear yourself from every charge; and the only effect it has had on me is to draw me closer to Christ and into deeper sympathy with yourself and Sister R. and all the dear friends that are trying to follow in the Master's footsteps.
I have comforted myself many times in the last two weeks with a remark that Mr. Adamson made while here three years ago. My mother, who was then living, inquired anxiously about your health, fearing that you were wearing your self out too fast, and saying that we could not spare you. He said, "Oh, mother Rany, don't worry. The Lord will take care of Bro. Russell."
I received a scoffing message to-day from a Presbyterian, asking if I had received one of the circulars. I answered, yes; and in it recognized the same spirit that prompted others – of like sort – to call Christ a wine bibber, a drunkard and a friend of publicans and sinners.
I am, Yours in Him.
DEAR MR. RUSSELL: – I received yesterday a little book, entitled A Conspiracy Exposed and Harvest Siftings, which I have carefully read. I write to say that aside from the vindication, which you have thoroughly established, of the charges which the malicious agents of Satan have endeavored to bring against you, it contains something that will greatly interest and benefit distant readers by giving them some acquaintance with one whom God has chosen to reveal his beautiful plan, heretofore comparatively unknown, to those who are willing to "see" and "hear."
I have read the three volumes of M. DAWN, and have been greatly benefited by the perusal. Always interested in theological subjects, in the course of my examinations, I stumbled across some skeptical works, which made me doubt even the existence of God. Your book has entirely removed the rank weed of infidelity, which had taken root in me, and I take this opportunity to thank you sincerely for it, and heartily to extend my sympathy to you in the trial which has lately been brought upon you by those four unworthy servants. I think it will redound to your credit and to their shame. Yours sincerely,
DEAR BRO. AND SISTER RUSSELL: – We have received the Extra and have read the most of it. We desire to express to you our sincere sympathy in the difficulties you have to contend with, and to say that our confidence in you is not in the least shaken. You certainly have given us too much food when hungry and too much drink when thirsty to be what the conspirators would make us to believe you to be. Your case is not without parallel. History, both sacred and secular, gives many such instances. Can only say what you already know, to trust in the dear Lord, who is able to bring peace out of confusion, light from darkness and joy from sorrow.
Please find enclosed $10, to be used according to your own judgment. With Christian love to you and Sister Russell and all the faithful in Christ,
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL: – Have just finished reading A Conspiracy Exposed, your defense against the villainous charges brought by those who should be bearing up the "feet" of the Master, instead of endeavoring to stumble them.
Mr. Rogers came to see me (before I received the Extra), and wanted me to subscribe for their new paper; but I declined, telling him I would take no part with them until I had better evidence of your having gone astray. So he gave me the circular, saying that would show me how you were no longer fit to lead God's people, and that they had mentioned only a few of the many things of which you were guilty. I expected to find something awful in them, and so I did – but to their shame, for I soon saw the signs of the cloven hoof.
He said he hoped I would be guided to follow the true spirit, to see and follow the truth (so may the good Lord grant). When I had read the circular, I pitied them all, for it did not take much study to see that the Arch-enemy had a hand in the whole thing. From page 198 the time I talked with Mr. Rogers until I found time to read his circular, I prayed God to guide me, that I might see who was in error, and that I might follow the right; but when I had read it, I found that the spirit of Christ was not there.
He tried to get me to have nothing more to do with you, as you had become corrupt, and that all who continued to follow you would be led astray. I told him that if it were so, I thanked the Lord that he had shown me as much of the truth as he has, and that I thought I would stand alone for a while, until I found which way the spirit of Christ was leading; but, praise God, I did not have to wait long to see.
Yours in our Redeemer,
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL: – Although the circular had perhaps but little effect after the first shock, still I have had many trials in other ways. Dear brother, I would ask you to remember me in prayer, that my faith fail not, that I may prove faithful. I am able to realize more and more each day the subtlety of the great enemy of us all.
Have not heard of any in Ontario who have been shaken out in the recent severe trial. As one brother says, "Satan appears to have overreached himself in his desperate efforts to do away with God's successful method of spreading the truth."
Surely it becomes us to watch and pray in such perilous times. Oh, how I do long for the end, when this terrible day will be over and the Kingdom fully set up, when the blessings will begin to flow through the appointed channel, "the seed." May we prove worthy to a position in that body. Much love to you all.
Yours in Him,
DEAR BRO. AND SISTER RUSSELL: – Yesterday Bro. Hays brought your defense to me to read, and added that the charges were the weakest he ever heard brought against any one. It is very painful to us to hear that we were so much deceived in men as we have been in these conspirators. The earth is open for them, and it is sure to swallow them. It must needs be that offences come; but woe to them by whom they come.
We take this opportunity to attest our loyalty to the Master and our confidence in the instruments which brought us from darkness into the marvelous light we now enjoy. The interest you manifest toward the sheep has increased our confidence.
May the grace of God be ever with you and enable you to overcome all temptation, is our prayer.
DEAR BROTHER: – I have not seen the charges made against you, but have read your reply. No testimony could shake my confidence in your sincerity and honesty of purpose. I do not know you personally, but your writings uniformly breathe the spirit of the Savior. The charges will be harmless with the few brethren here.
Go ahead in the footsteps of the Master, and all will end right. My wife joins me in love and sympathy.
DEAR BRO. AND SISTER RUSSELL: – We wish to say that the conspiracy has not in the least shaken our confidence in you as instruments in the hands of God to give out the truth as now due, and in which we now greatly rejoice. The explosion of the "bomb" reminds us of the recent incident in the east, where the man who threw a bomb which exploded hurt no one but himself.
You have the prayers of the Church here. Yours in the faith,
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL: – I have received the Extra. I see in it nothing more or less then another evidence among thousands of the signs of the times that we are really and truly in the glorious time of the harvest. The good Master knows how earnestly I pray that his Kingdom may come.
Your brother in Christ,
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL: – We have just read A Conspiracy Exposed. Truly sorry that such has been the state of affairs with you. Language fails us in the expression of our sympathy for you and the household of faith.
We desire to be numbered with those who will sustain your hands above your enemies until the battle is over. May God prosper you and the work until his voice shall be heard, "Come up higher," is the prayer of your humble servants,
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL: – I have been reading the Extra TOWER, and am truly grieved that any brother who had so enjoyed the favor of our Father as to have the future unfolded to him as it has been to me by DAWN, could fall into such ways as these unfortunate brethren appear to have done. But, dear brother, must you not expect these things, and does not God permit them for the good of all who are humbly in the race for the high calling – the crown of immortality? May our loving Father keep me humble, so that in his own due time he may exalt me. "He that exalteth himself shall be abased."
I cannot refrain, dear brother, from giving a short account of how I came into the truth. In the spring of 1888 a lady gave me a copy of DAWN, VOL. I. I was a deacon in a Presbyterian church, and thoroughly believed in its doctrines; but oh! the blessing that the Father sent me when he sent me that book. I afterwards read VOL. II.; and that merely confirmed and enlarged the truth I had already imbibed. Then, last winter, God sent Bro. Hettenbaugh with VOL. III.; and now I impatiently await the fourth volume, confident that the truth will be imparted in still larger quantity – "meat in due season."
For yourself, I know that our Father will sustain you in everything that may be brought against you by the evil one; and do not forget that many earthly brethren are with you in spirit in all these struggles.
A stranger to you, but still a brother, one day, I pray, to be together with our glorified Head.
No doubt this fiery ordeal through which you are passing will deepen your sympathy for Christ and the apostles. The time may come when you, too, will have to be let down in a "basket," to escape injury of your person.
Your defense in the Extra is nobly and well timed. Dear brother, let us all take courage and lift up our minds and hearts. Hope will spring up anew, as we unite in singing the song of the new heavens and new earth. For this glorious time the whole creation is now groaning and travailing in pain. This doctrine of "the restitution of all things," will, when Christ shall subdue all things, and when God will gather together in one, all things in Christ, expose all error and settle all difficulties and right all wrongs. When this manifestation of the saints of God takes place, the earth will be filled with a knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. His glory will be revealed, and all will see it together.
To you and Sister R. we all join in sending greeting. Your brother,
DEAR FRIENDS: – The charges made are the merest babbling and will, as we believe, strengthen those who are of the household of faith and who have been so wonderfully blessed by your researches and interpretations of the Scriptures. Be not dismayed. If you are not injured at home, where you are known, do not apprehend that you will be injured, by such foolish charges, with people who, while they do not know you personally, love you none the less. We are only surprised that you have been let alone in your work so long as you have, and will not be surprised, if, when this attack fails, as it surely will, we hear of another from some other direction. But you must stand firm, believing what the Savior said, "Lo, I am with you alway;" and so are the hundreds of friends who have read and listened to your incomparable interpretations of the Scriptures.
Believe us, Your loving friends,
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL: – Myself and wife have received and read TOWER Extra. While we knew, by certain previous references, that something serious had occurred, we did not think that a thing so infamous was possible. We wish to express our sympathy and love for you both in this thing, but we cannot do so, for the feelings of our hearts are inexpressible; but our earnest prayer to the Father is that you may ever be just as free and blameless from wrong and as Christ-like in your every dealing with a thankless world as you have been in this one. Many thoughts present themselves for utterance concerning this affair, but we are confident we could express nothing new nor touch a responding chord in your hearts which has not been reached often before. Therefore, the whole substance of our letter is, We love you; for from the borderland of infidelity your help called us back to truths so grand and love so great toward God and men that we can see no greater obligation to love and respect and sustain as we can than this we owe to you.
With our love and our prayers,
DEARLY BELOVED BRO. AND SISTER RUSSELL: – It is with joy that I try to express to you my continued love and confidence. You have passed through a severe trial; but, thank God, you are the victor. Blessed are you when men shall revile you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely, for Christ's sake. If they have persecuted the Master of the household they will also persecute those that are his. But the persecution coming from those whom you thought brethren, makes it doubly hard to bear. I have carefully read A Conspiracy Exposed, and think you have answered all their charges in a way that would satisfy any unbiased mind. I cannot express how glad I was to know that Mrs. C.B. Lemuels was Mrs. Russell. I never thought of that; and now I want her to know the joy and peace that have filled my heart. Oh! how many times I have wanted to write to her and tell her of my gratitude. There could be no harm done, loaning books in that name, if it had brought joy to no one but me.
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL: – I received your book in reply to the four conspirators, and return thanks to you for the same. It indeed meets the case fairly, squarely and honestly, and is in marked contrast to the spirit and evident purposes of the circular sent out by them. I was not pleased with the spirit of their circular, when I received it; and while I had known nothing previously regarding the charges (?) contained therein, I felt that there was certainly a mistake or a conspiracy somewhere, and consequently did not lose my confidence in you and Sister Russell, believing that out of the matter the Lord would bring the true light on the subject. And now that the whole purpose of the conspiracy is laid bare, it ought to cause them (were they true and earnest disciples of the meek and lowly Jesus) to hang their heads in shame and sorrow; but alas! this is not to be expected when Satan seems to have so completely puffed them up. May the dear Lord keep us, who are striving to be [R1666 : page 200] his, very humble and meet for his best uses.
I was surprised this A.M. to have Mr. Rogers call at my brother's house. He had only a few minutes to spend with me; but that was sufficient. He had in a few brief words (but to the point) my opinion of his recent misdoings. The topic of most of the few minutes' conversation was at first a surprise to me, but after further thought, I concluded it was only what might be expected. He said that Bro. – or, rather, as he put it, Mr. – Russell had been too dogmatic in insisting on a particular phase of the Ransom and dis-fellowshiping those who saw other important features of it, and said that this dogmatism had caused those who were at first associated with you to separate from you, or you from them, and had caused many to stumble and fall; and he gave it as his opinion that they were nearer right than you. (Verily, they "love darkness rather than light.")
My earnest sympathies and prayers are with you and Sister Russell, and I am confident that out of it all final good will come. This is truly the time when all are being "weighed in the balances;" and they who are found wanting will be dropped out by the hand of the Master who holds the scales.
Yours in faith and fellowship,
P.S. I should like to ask a question regarding Mr. Rogers; but as you may consider it a matter of private business, you may perhaps not feel like answering. He has intimated to one or two that I know of, that aside from his traveling expenses, board, clothing, etc., about all of his income was donated to the Tract Society. I should like to know if that is so; for, if not, I feel that this, another of his deceptions, should be known. Personally, I take "no stock" in the statement; but in the absence of information I cannot pass upon it.
[Your request is not unreasonable; and we reply, that Mr. S. D. Rogers contributed money to the Tract Fund as follows: –
Dec. 28, 1889,..........$25.00 Jan. 28, 1890,.......... 25.00 April 9, 1890,.......... 20.00 July 5, 1890,........... 2.90 ------ In all,.................$72.90]
LATER. Am rejoiced to learn that the recent arrows of the Adversary have accomplished but little harm to the saints, and are apt to return upon his own head to his own discomfiture and hurt. Thus God overrules apparent evil to work out good to his own trusting ones. And, as you say, I also hope it may have the effect of drawing our hearts closer to our dear Lord and to each other.
It seems to me that if they had observed the Christian rule in regard to their various seeming offences, all would have resolved into thin air, as very often is the case with even worse charges. You have taken more pains than I would have done to refute the same, as many of them are as idle tales of gossip and unworthy of attention. Life is too short to grieve or worry over the frequent slanders of the envious. Joseph was sold by his brethren, Christ deserted for a time by his apostles, and suffered much therefrom; but have not we a sure refuge in One who will not leave us desolate? I am very glad, however, to get this book, as it gives me a knowledge of the Tract Society, your work, and much other valuable and interesting information, put into concise form for future reference, and for explanation to others of the work in which you are engaged.
You and Sister Russell have my heartfelt sympathy in your constant and great work and labor of love; and may you ever have the abiding comfort of the dear, loving Master. With the fullest confidence that you are led by him and following in his footsteps.
I am, yours as ever,
DEAR BROTHER: – Sorry you should have been called to spend so much valuable time in defending yourself from the misrepresentations of others; but I see that it was absolutely necessary. You have defended yourself nobly, with true Christian spirit, which gives me greater confidence in you than ever. I received your TOWER Extra on the 17th. I also received the letters published by your adversaries. I am sorry that I was called to spend so much time to go through them. I first read these letters, then your reply, which quite convinces me you are in the right.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: – Doubtless you are flooded with letters and other business, but I must tell you how our recent trials have affected me, up here alone, with hardly a friend who was connected with the DAWN work.
The way through it all was rough indeed. That stumbling stone of a circular was well calculated to stumble such weak babes as myself; but the dear Lord was with me, according to his promise; and, resolving not to condemn one side or the other till I had heard both sides, and expecting a satisfactory explanation in the coming TOWER, I did not fall.
Mrs. Jewett, who lives in this place, though having had DAWN for a comparatively short time, is quite established in the faith. We have taken pains that others here who were only beginning to read DAWN should hear nothing of the matter.
With Christian love and prayers for you and all the brethren,
DEAR BRO. AND SISTER RUSSELL: – We, the undersigned, being regular subscribers to your excellent paper and readers of DAWNS and other helps, and having received your Extra, take this method of expressing our heartfelt sympathy for you. We have carefully studied the matter, as explained in your Extra, and have no hesitancy in saying that you have fully and fairly vindicated yourself in every instance, so far as we can see, and that we highly approve the Christian manner in which you have so nobly defended yourself. Go on, our Christian brother, looking to God for help, and he will be with you to the end. May this persecution only incite you to greater zeal for the truth, and may God give you renewed strength in his cause, is our prayer.
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL: – I received the special TOWER, and am well satisfied with it, as are all the brethren here. I thank God that we are not so weak as to be hurt by anything that your enemies can bring against you. We could readily see that Satan was at the head of it all. We are all well pleased with the kind letters from the faithful ones sympathizing with you. They draw us closer together. The Allegheny Church Resolutions are good, and while I read the letter signed E. Abbott, W. Campbell, R. Ball, E. Henninges and J. A. Weimar, I was greatly lifted heavenward; for I know that such persons must be the Lord's own. I wish I could shake hands with the writers of page 202 all. With this letter I send you, in behalf of the Church here, ten dollars for yourself; for we know you have been put to a lot of expense and trouble.
[We appreciate much the thoughtfulness and confidence expressed by the sending of the $10. Accept thanks. Have placed it in the Tract Fund, to which we have charged the expense of the Extra, because we considered it not so much a personal matter as in the interest of the truth and TOWER readers in general. Had only ourselves been concerned, we might have maintained a dignified silence, ignoring both the slander and the slanderers. – EDITOR]
I remain your brother in Christ, in behalf of the Church in my house,
DEAR BRO. AND SISTER RUSSELL: – Let me congratulate you that you have been able so nobly to refute the slander of your enemies. I have just finished reading A Conspiracy Exposed. Surely, the Christ-like spirit manifested through it all, if nothing else, will convince those of the truth whose hearts are right in the sight of God.
For others' sake I am glad every question is cleared up; but for my own part, it needed no explanation; for after receiving those horrid letters, I took the whole matter to the Lord in prayer and I was convinced they were of Satan. Brother and Sister Bourquin's letter to Mr. Zech expresses my sentiments.
To me this has been the hardest trial since I came into the truth; for I was acquainted with the four and loved and esteemed them highly; but I feel I can do so no longer; nor can I recognize them as brethren in Christ until they do show his spirit. But I trust this trial will bring me only closer to the Master, and make me stronger and better fitted for his use. Hoping and praying the same for you and Sister Russell and all the household of faith, I remain, Yours in Christ and his service,
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL: – We, the undersigned WATCH TOWER subscribers, believers in the truth as set forth in the MILLENNIAL DAWN Series, desire to extend to you our heartfelt sympathy and brotherly love in this time of trial that has been brought upon you by those who have called themselves brothers. We extend to you our most sincere thanks for your past labors and faithfulness in pointing out to the "household of faith" the truth of God's Word. We wish you a most earnest God-speed, and pray God to give you courage and strength to carry on the good work to his honor and glory in the future as you have done in the past. May his rich blessing rest and abide with you and help you to bear this trying ordeal patiently, as becomes the true servant of God, is our prayer.
We heartily condemn and protest against the cruel treatment you have received at the hands of Messrs. Zech, Rogers, Adamson and Bryan; and while we look upon them as being no longer "brothers," we draw the closer to you, whom we believe to be the true servant of God, and the under-shepherd of his flock.
False accusations and hard sayings were brought against the Head Shepherd, and they will do the same to his true under-shepherds; but in all this rejoice, for suffering such things for Christ will only help you to put the finishing touches on the wedding garment that you will be required to have on at the marriage of the Lamb. The devil has side tracks laid all along the main line, so we have to keep a vigilant watch to keep from being switched off on some one of them.
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL: – I feel satisfied that the men to whom we looked up as brethren were overcome or blinded by Satan, who appears "as an angel of light." I trust they will see the error of their ways and retrace their steps ere it is too late.
I must give you a little of my experience just after receiving their circular. The next morning I was requested by an interested brother, to whom I had sold DAWN, to come to his house the next Sunday and give an explanation of the Chart of the Ages and some insight into the truths brought to light in DAWN. I accepted the invitation gladly. I canvassed till noon, when I met a Methodist lady, who had heard something of DAWN, but was afraid page 203 to read it. The Lord helped me to bring some truth to her attention, and to get her interested in the book. Just after dinner I succeeded in getting a gentleman quite interested and was used the same week to aid Sister White to see the importance and significance of baptism. The following Sunday, from 2 P.M. until 11:30 P.M., I had ten attentive listeners, and we all seemed very much blessed of the Lord. I was requested to come again every Sunday, if convenient – which you may know we shall make convenient and very glad of the opportunity. I feel very much encouraged indeed – not because I am called on to be a leader, but that the Lord has kept me so busy that I have had no time to think of or try any new departure. I would prefer to follow the "old paths," not of sectarianism, but the path trod by my dear Redeemer – the humble and quiet way, trying, as such as lies within my power, to "live peaceably with all men."
Since receiving your reply I feel stronger and more determined than ever to press forward to the mark for the prize of our high calling, which is in Christ Jesus. Well, dear brother, "let us not be weary in well doing; for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not." We rejoice to know that the Lord has brought you out more than conqueror.
Your humble servant in Christ.
DEAR BRO. AND SISTER RUSSELL: – I feel I must emphasize the dear; for since this fearful trial has come upon you and you have so clearly proven the groundlessness and injustice of the attack upon you, you look nobler to me than ever before. You are kept in peace, but now go further, rejoice! Rejoice that you are counted worthy thus to suffer for his name! Yes, rejoice; for out of this you come forth purer and brighter – and those who really love the Lord, not in word or tongue only, but in deed and truth, will love you more, trust you more fully and show themselves more willing to heed all your words of advice and encouragement.
Well, the sifting is going on. The Lord will have only clean ones, and he knoweth them that are his – praise his name! Such favor to be chosen of him! How can any be other than humbled at the thought!
Ever your sister, filled with blessed hope,
[The following is from one formerly a helper in the TOWER office, and whose defense of our integrity appeared in the Extra.
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL: – Your valued favor of 18th inst. came duly, and was especially appreciated as I did not anticipate any personal words from you during this trial, knowing that you were taxed to the utmost. Though I love to hear from you, yet never consider it necessary to write me particularly, for I would prefer to know that you had used your time and powers among "lambs," where such need attention.
That I was permitted in any measure to "hold up your hands" in the severe trial just passing, is a comfort to me. Having any measure of the spirit of the Master, how strengthening it is to help bear one another's burdens! Yours in the Master,
MY DEAR FRIENDS: – It is with feelings of sorrow and regret (shall I say indignation?) that I read of the scheme of false friends to cast a blot on the servant of the dear Master. Some years ago I heard an old minister say that Satan had a spite at him, and that he (the minister) had a spite at Satan, and always did him all the harm he could. It seems to me the remark suits my brother; for Satan seems to have let loose all the malice of his nature. Edgar Fawcett says, "The best reward of a kindly deed is the knowledge of having done it." When I read Mrs. Russell's noble defense of her persecuted husband it reminded me of Mrs. Fletcher's words when her heavenly-minded husband was traduced. She said: "I cannot bear to have the good in him evil spoken of."
Believe me, dear friends, yours in love and the hope,
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL: – We have just received the Extra, which brings to us the sad intelligence of the severe trial which has been brought upon you, by those whom we trusted were true to the dear Lord and His cause. After reading their charges, we fail to see anything in them which has not been most satisfactorily answered by you. Therefore, dear brother, we send you this letter, to express to you our heartfelt sympathy, Christian love, and continued confidence.
We turn to our infallible guide (the Word of God), and inquire, Shall the followers of the page 204 persecuted Jesus suffer also? We hear the answer, "All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." (2 Tim. 3:12.) May the dear Lord help us joyfully to bear all the sufferings trials and afflictions that may come upon us; for "the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us." – Rom. 8:18.
Your brethren and sisters in Christ,
DEAR BROTHER AND SISTER IN CHRIST: – How true it is that the sheep know the voice of the Shepherd and a stranger they will not follow. It is very easy to discern the difference between the spirit of the TOWER and that of the conspirators. My confidence in you remains unshaken. The thing I am most interested in is that I may be one of the overcomers. I know the testing is becoming more and more severe, but I will trust the dear Lord. His grace is sufficient, for I have proved it over and over again. I want the full assurance of faith, having my heart sprinkled from an evil conscience. I want to hold the confidence which hath great recompence of reward, and I am confident that nothing will befall me but what is for my good. Pray for me, that I may be kept meek, always at the Master's feet. The cross was very heavy at first, but, thank the dear Lord, it is getting lighter. Indeed, it has become a source of joy to me, and the more I take it up the lighter it gets and the more I realize the Master's presence. I stand upon the rock, which is Christ Jesus.
Yours in hope of the high calling,
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL: – Pamphlet containing the account of a conspiracy exposed duly received, and carefully read. I fail to discover anything in it to excite my sympathy for yourself, as I find that not a hair of your head has been singed, neither has the "smell of fire been found in your garments;" but my sorrow is more than I can express for the misguided brethren who, having permitted an evil influence to distort their better judgment and to lead them into an attempt (oh! "Tell it not in Gath!") to wreck this blessed Harvest work, that they themselves have assisted to carry on. A great man once said, "Save me from my friends." We will hope, and try to believe, that ere this they severely feel that amount of conscientious remorse that will convince them of the wrong step they have taken, and that, too, under the malignant eye of a scrutinizing world.
Of course, the great cause under your management is instrumental in doing too much good in the world to suit the infernal characteristics of its wily "Prince;" but he has met with a disappointment for the present. But this may be only a sally, to put us on our guard and to prepare us for a general assault. We will suppose that ours is about the last and only fortress that is worthy of his steel. It is but natural to suppose that he will make the best use of the short time he has to work, especially when he reflects on that chain that John saw the angel use on the highly famous "Patmos."
Cheer up, dear brother, you are in the service of Him who has all power in Heaven and on Earth, and is therefore quite capable of maintaining his own cause against every assault of the enemy. You have a grateful and loving community at your back, that will be more zealous than ever in holding up your hands in the great work that has been given you to do.
In Christian fellowship,
BRO. C. T. RUSSELL: – We, the undersigned brethren in Jesus Christ, having with much regret heard of the charges brought against your character as a follower of our blessed Lord and Master, and having read both the charges and the defense, have come to the conclusion that the charges are frivolous and vexatious, and that nothing but the spirit of enmity could possibly have actuated those who have made them.
We regret to see the amount of unnecessary trouble to which the vindication of yourself has put you; still we see that, holding the position you do, it was incumbent upon you to enter into such a lengthy explanation, thereby exposing your private affairs; otherwise (but for the Church's sake) it would have been well to have "answered not a word." We write you thus that you may feel assured of our intense sympathy. With kind regards to Sister Russell and yourself. Yours in Christ, W. I. Biven, Henry Cornish, A. Edwards.
DEAR BRO. AND SISTER RUSSELL: – This we hope will find you with all shadows and dark clouds past. We are sorry that so much has beset our little band this year, but now we hope that page 205 all will be the better for the experience. We are glad to say that we have not been shaken, but seem to have been drawn closer together. We earnestly pray that this may be the last deflection, and that hereafter we may present a solid front to the foe.
With true love and fellowship in Christ,
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL: – Owing to the trials through which you have recently passed, we feel it both our duty and privilege to inform you of the deep sympathy we feel toward you and of the perfect confidence we have in your fitness and ability to perform any further work which the Lord Jesus, the Chief Shepherd, may direct.
We were not surprised that such a conspiracy should occur. We can see the hand of the Lord in it all. It seems to be an important part of his work in this harvest, though we are surprised at the men who engaged in it; for we had expected better things of them. As to the charges brought against you, we need only say that as an impure fountain cannot bring forth pure water, or a corrupt tree good fruit, neither can the heart and mind which under the blessing of God have furnished us Z.W.T., Tabernacle Shadows, M. DAWN, etc., be full of wickedness as charged.
We highly approve your course, and congratulate you on the plain and straightforward manner in which you have explained the subject. Believing that God will work all things together for good for those who love him, we remain,
In the one and only hope through the ransom,
Mr. Rogers called here on Saturday evening. Of course you are the greatest villain that ever existed; but then opinions differ. Was he not surprised when I told him it was a matter of Korah and his company! "Why! I am surprised at you!!" he said. I think he was, for there was a momentary note of fear in his tone. I was not anxious to retain his services in any form. Yes, some are worthy of their hire – the devil, at least, thinks so; especially when they travel to villify the servants of God. I can tell you this plainly, Bro. Russell, that over two months ago, through the conduct of Mr. Rogers, I shut myself up and declined fellowship with anyone.
[This has been our intention, and we have deviated from it only for this special issue, believing that this would be to the Lord's praise and to the upbuilding of his people, to inform the Church of the outcome of the late conspiracy and of the deliverance vouchsafed to all the true sheep of his pasture. Mrs. Russell had no thought of going to England.]
Do you not remember that the Lord was in the cloud and pillar of fire, guiding the Israelites through the wilderness? So, remember that the Lord is in this cloud of trouble, and, with the fiery trials, these are our protection. Be not over anxious concerning the brethren and sisters in England; for the Lord will give to his people, peace.
Mr. Rogers says you are misrepresenting him in the article, "The work in England;" in fact, insinuating that he misappropriated the money. If you would give a concise statement showing what the $965.67 represents, you will remove some misapprehension. He says he sold 1,500 DAWNS in America and 800 here. Total, 2,300 @ 33c=$759 – his own figures.
Yours in Jesus,
[Our figures are not the retail value of what he sold, but the retail value of what was sent him, representing books either sold by him, still in his possession or transferred by him to others (and for which he received payment) – exclusive of the last shipment of 2,000 lbs. to London, which he abandoned at the docks.
Jan. 1, 1894, To Balance,........................ $640.90 Jan. 29, By Cash,................... $73.05 Mar. 22, "Mr. Rogers' statement of DAWN unsold, stored in Liverpool and London, 1535 @ 12½c,.................... $191.88 264.93 ------- Balance,......................................... $375.97 Deduct prepaid freight,.......................... 23.67 ------- Net,............................................. $352.30 This is the wholesale value of the merchandise for which Mr. Rogers owes us (assuming his statement of books stored to be correct). It represents DAWNS in cloth and paper bindings, booklets, TOWER subscriptions, etc. (the respective quantities unknown), a conservative estimate of which places their retail value at........................................ $942.00 Add freight charges,............................. 23.67 ------- Total,........................................... $965.67
Mr. Rogers' credit had been extended, before he started for England, so that he owed us, on the day he sailed, for books sent him while in America, $214.72. This amount is included in the balance due Jan. 1, 1894.] [R1666 : page 206]
DEAR BRO. AND SISTER RUSSELL: – Somehow for the past month all of us here seemed to feel that a dark cloud was hovering above the household of faith threatening to burst upon us. We clung the closer together and sought comfort in prayer. We now see why it was.
Courage, brother! These false brethren cannot injure the cause: they have only helped it. Since God permitted it, we say Amen. The cause will prosper the better henceforth. These people have been as a thorn in the flesh. Being now withdrawn, the sore will heal.
Yours in Christian fellowship,
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL: – Through recent issues of the TOWER I have been greatly blessed, instructed and cautioned by reason of the clear unfolding of the Scriptures touching the various subjects treated. Surely the Master is using you for his purpose in the Harvest of the Age, and is directing you from time to time, as to the proper dish of spiritual food to prepare for the truth-hungry of the household of faith; and, indeed, when so made ready and served, it not only meets the requirements of the spiritual appetites of the Lord's "sheep," but is always in season – "due time." The article in the April 1 number; viz.: "Lest ye enter into temptation," was timely: being opportunely written, and expeditiously sent forth on its mission of warning, carrying the signal flag of danger to the meek, the humble and unsuspicious ones; and now comes the Extra; and we inquire,
"Watchman, what of the night?"
The answer comes, A Conspiracy Exposed, and Harvest Siftings of those who, in times past, were enlightened and blessed through your teachings of the Word, refreshed by your hospitality, and comforted by your fellowship and love, but who have now "lifted up their heels against you." But, praise the Lord, you have, through a knowledge of the truth, and with courage and fortitude, met and successfully refuted every charge, explained every grievance brought against you and against the cause of Zion and truth, and clearly vindicated your character as an intelligent and honest man, exercising correct financial principles and methods in your personal dealings and in all matters relating to the Lord's service; "being not slothful in business, but serving the Lord" – a sympathetic, loving and devoted friend, and an orderly, conscientious, consecrated Christian.
In view of the deflection and falling away of many, and the completeness and severity of the "siftings" as experienced as well as predicted, it is well to remember that the Harvest of the Gospel age is nearing its meridian splendor and ripeness; and the "time is short" wherein it will culminate in the refreshing brightness and glory of the Millennial morning, when the bride will have made herself ready, and "Zion will rejoice;" and that such of the Lord's children – the fully consecrated – as hope to stand in the time of trouble, and behold the salvation of God, should "gird up the loins of their minds;" go over and examine every piece of the Christian armor; see that every part is bright, in its place, and the whole properly adjusted, to the end that they may be able to meet and resist the shafts of the adversary. The way to immortality – the Divine nature – is too"narrow" and difficult; the dangers on either side thereof are too many; the "snares" too cunning and deceptive, and the pit too deep to be trifled with by any in the Lord's service, through mistaken efforts to share in the notoriety, vanities, ease, comforts and pride of life, at the expense of the Lord's means and his well devised system of harvest work; forgetting that, though in the world, they should not be of it.
On the other hand, the rewards are so great; the crown so bright; the life so enduring; that only the fullness of meaning carried by the term "immortality" expresses it. Indeed, all of the promises to the successful competitors for the "prize" at the terminus of the "narrow way" are so "exceedingly great and precious" as to command every talent of the consecrated Christian, "even unto death," bearing in mind that "Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall;" while "by humility and the fear of the Lord are riches and honor and life." – Prov. 16:18, 22:4.
I thank the blessed Lord for having given you physical, mental and spiritual strength and ability so successfully to defeat the wiles and temptations of Satan, by and through the timely and skilful use of that potent, effective and very convincing weapon, the "the sword of the spirit." Having done your duty as enjoined, "Let not your heart be troubled neither let it be afraid;" for "The Lord will uphold you with the right hand of his righteousness." page 207
Kindly yours in the Master's service.
MY DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: – Your Expose was really a great surprise to me. I was afraid you would over or under do it – but, if there is a word wrong, I fail to find it after careful reading. All the points seem to be covered, and effectually too. The Holy Spirit has surely guided you through this severe trouble.
How long will the sun, just peeping from behind the clouds, continue to shine? Soon again will the clouds appear, the lightning flash and the thunder roll louder than before. Already from the last shower the ground is damp and muddy, and the walking is tedious and heavy. Who will continue to the end? Can any trial cut deeper than the one just past? It does not seem possible. We loved and trusted them so! God knows their hearts. They have fallen far: I fear past all recovery.
God's choicest blessings on you and our dear Sister Russell. Your brother and sister in the Lord,
[The following is from a brother once a helper in the TOWER office.
I suggest to your judgment with regard to the distribution of the Z.W.T., Extra, that it will be difficult to distinguish where and where not it should go. The only motive I can see for withholding it from any is to cover if possible the shame of the offenders.
The book is a witness for you, for us, and for the truth; and I feel confident that the dear Lord intends it for a witness; – of course permitting us to use our judgment. But he will not fail to correct our errors in the use of this powerful testimony.
Yours in Christ,
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL: – Continuing from my last, I hardly need say that, as far as I know myself, [R1667 : page 207] I love righteousness and peace, order and decency, and that I hate the reverse. My relation and connection with the Sichel-Haus have taken such a character that I begin to feel a disgust. I am not ungrateful, and for all the good received through Zechs I was truly thankful, – not in word only; and I have now in sincerest love and gratefulness written much to them, desiring to do good.
But I begin to feel that I am already being misunderstood by them, and I doubt whether I shall be understood by them in the future; for I feel it to be the Lord's will that I sever all connections (which have not been severed by them) with the Sichel-Haus, and that I return to America, probably in three or four weeks, as matters may shape themselves. Karl may stay longer and probably return with Boehmers in the fall.
Furthermore, I wish to tell you that after careful and prayerful consideration I believe it to be the Lord's will to humbly offer whatever talents I may have to be used in the Lord's service under your direction. I am sorry, very sorry, that you did not come to know me better during my stay in Allegheny, partially by reason of certain influences. And though I must admit, as a brother of Paul, that I have need of self-control, by the grace of God I have succeeded some in the past few years in controlling my spirit and keeping my body under; and I have great confidence that with the Lord's help, under your influence and that of others, I shall receive a new impetus, to have all the good work continue in me, including self-control, meekness, patience, etc.
I feel, painfully to some extent, that I may be misunderstood by some. But I love the truth as pure and clear as possible, and, the Lord willing, I may see come to pass what I have often wished and expressed to Zechs, that one or more of the tracts of the TOWER Tract Society be translated into German; if it be the Lord's will that something be done among the Germans by the T.T.S. through your influence. I am so glad that we have One that judgeth us, and that He knows I am not trying to please men, except out of a pure heart. Furthermore, I believe I have the desire of many others, to see DAWN, VOL. IV., come out. For this reason I felt very sorry that the late disturbance has come in and that three of the office helpers have left their posts. If through my (as I hope quiet and faithful) service you could gain some time for VOL. IV., I should deem it a favor of the Lord. I hope that from the above and previous letters my sentiments and motives may be clear to you and Sister Russell: to be spent to the Lord's honor and praise, and, in unity of the spirit with those who are truly His, to grow up into Him.
I shall await your advice. None need know of this though, lest some of your accusers think you needed or asked me from Germany to testify [R1667 : page 208] for the truth on your behalf. It will be a test for them (if you should believe it to be the Lord's will that I come to Allegheny) whether or not they will think evil of me and treat me accordingly.
Yours sincerely in our Lord and Redeemer,
[The following is from one known to many of our readers as Sister Millie Long – formerly one of the TOWER office helpers. We place it last because we would specially commend to all the sentiments of its fourth paragraph, relative to the "false brethren."]
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL: – Our family has been acquainted with you since you were quite a young man, and were fully convinced long ago, by your walk and conversation, that from boyhood you have faithfully desired to serve the Lord. Sometimes we have heard you assailed by opponents to your religious views, who, being unable to overthrow the Scriptural doctrines you taught, resorted to the same methods as the Jews pursued toward Christ, viz., abusive personalities, etc. (Jno. 8:41; Matt. 11:19.) However, you have always been able to prove that "Wisdom is justified of her children;" and as our dear Redeemer, fully cognizant of his perfect manhood and purity, exclaimed, "Who convinceth me of sin?" (Jno. 8:46) so can all those who wear the robe of his righteousness, and are striving daily to bring every thought into subjection to the divine mind.
The circular letter reached us a few days before the celebration of the Memorial Supper, and we (Mother and self) concluded that it was our duty to investigate the whole matter fully and impartially. The signatures the circular contained amazed us, owing to the fact that among them were brethren and sisters whom we honored and loved as God's children; but the Scriptures assured us that "all things work together for good to those who love God;" and we tried to rejoice in the trial, knowing the results would prove beneficial to the faithful, shaking out much that was detrimental to spiritual progress.
The charges against you were ignoble and unworthy of publication. The words pope, etc., had no weight with us. When I first heard you preach I was deeply impressed by your urgent advice to "Prove all things" by the Scriptures, by following which I have escaped many snares of the adversary. Subsequently, when I was a member of your household and had the blessed privilege of serving in the TOWER office, the daily faithful sacrifices of Sister R. and yourself were constantly witnessed, but I never found either of you taking a self-righteous course, nor exalting yourselves in any way – although there was plenty of opportunity to do so. I was indubitably convinced that you were depending on the sacrificial death of our Lord for redemption from Adamic sin and its penalty, and had battles to fight the same as all members of the Church have; hence your sympathy, loving care and untiring service for other members of "the body." Consequently it is apparent to me that the "pope" who has been blinding the eyes of the false brethren was the product of "evil surmising" of the sinful, fallen mind, manufactured while they were neglecting the Father's business. Satisfactory evidence of the above is fully given in your pamphlet, A Conspiracy Exposed, which I have carefully read.
This latest sifting of the Church is certainly the result of living after the flesh, instead of after the spirit. We who are begotten of the truth are reckoned to have passed the Adamic death; and if we cease to strive toward actual righteousness and wilfully continue to follow the flesh, we shall surely suffer the Second Death. (Rom. 8:13.) Even in dealing with false brethren I desire to avoid all fleshly bitterness that has a tendency to mingle with righteous indignation.
I rejoice to tell you that those whom I have talked with in St. Louis, and especially do I wish to mention Sister Gallagher [colporteur], as she is very young in the truth, have nobly stood for the Lord and in his spirit of meekness during the shaking. For myself I can say there is no idolatry in my heart. I desire to worship only God. At the same time I never forget that all I am by divine grace I owe to the instrumentality of yourself and your beloved wife.
Mother joins me in Christian love. Courage! dear brother and sister, as the valley grows darker. "The God of peace shall bruise Satan under our feet shortly."
"Then crowns of victory, palms of glory,
We shall wear."
Yours in love of the truth,